The Action People’s Party (APP) and its National Chairman, Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere, have asked the Federal High Court Abuja to overrule the Independent National Electoral Commission’s ban on campaigns by political parties till Saturday’s new date of presidential and National Assembly elections.
The plaintiffs argued that by the combined effect of the mandatory statutory provisions of Sections 99(1), 100(1) and 101(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended), INEC could not validly bar campaigns by registered political parties before a period earlier than 24 hours prior to the date of the election.
APP also urged the court to decide, “Whether by Sections 99(1), 100(1) and 101(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended) the announcement, directive or order by INEC directing registered political parties, including the APP, to stop or end their campaign for the 2019 General Elections on February 14, 2019 for polls that will hold on February 23, 2019 is not ultra vires its powers, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”
In an exparte application, accompanying the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/206/2019, APP is seeking an order of “injunction restraining the defendant from stopping, ending or in any other manner whatsoever giving effect to the directive or order purported ending or stopping campaign by political parties for the 2019 general elections on February 14, 2019 pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
INEC is the sole defendant in the suit filed on Monday by lawyer to the plaintiffs, Obed Agu.
Recall that INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had after postponing the elections early Saturday morning, barred further campaigns by political parties.