Lawyers to candidates of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) have written INEC to comply with a judgement of an FCT High Court directing it to include them in the March 9 governorship and state assemblies’ elections in Kano and Rivers states.
The letter, dated March 8, was signed by counsel to PPP and legal adviser of the party, Chibuzor Ezike, to INEC informing it of the judgement in suit no: CV/857/19.
The governorship candidate of PPP in Kano State, Hadiza Lawan Saba, and her counterpart in Rivers State, Hon. Clifford Edanuko and their running mates, were allegedly rejected by INEC when they were brought 60 days to the election.
In an originating summons brought by the legal adviser of the party on January 21, Chibuzor Ezike, the party contended that INEC lacked the power to reject any candidate of political parties brought to it 60 days to an election under the provisions of Section 31(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.
Delivering judgement, Justice Binta Muhammed held that the rejection of the PPP candidates in Kano and Rivers states, respectively, was ultra vires of the power of INEC and in breach of Section 31(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and as such null and void.
Justice Muhammed subsequently made an order “directing and or mandating the defendant to include the names of the 1st and 2nd defendant plaintiffs in the ballot papers as candidates of the 1st plaintiff (PPP) in Kano and Rivers State respectively.”
“This honourable court will want to point out and reiterate that names of the respective political parties that are listed on the ballot papers, and consequently the court hereby directs that name of 1st plaintiff as the political party being PEOPLES PROGRESSIVE PARTY is to be included by the 1st defendant on the ballot papers as requested.”
The court, however, refused the application for the payment of N2bn damages to the PPP over the unlawful rejection and or exclusion of the governorship candidates.