NNPP to appeal Federal High Court judgment in Kaduna

4 days ago

The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) will file an appeal at the Federal Appeal Court to challenge the action, activity and decision of the INEC in preparations for the 2023 general elections.

The suit (No. FHC/KD/CS/116/2022) was earlier dismissed by the Federal High Court, Kaduna Judicial Division on 22nd November 2022 on the ground that the suit was statute-barred, as according to the court, the suit was challenging the erstwhile ward congresses for the election of delegates and primary elections of the APC conducted in April and May 2022 respectively.

Briefing newsmen in Kaduna on Wednesday, the NNPP gubernatorial candidate in Kaduna state, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi said: “The Court negated the fact that as at the time material for the said ward congresses for the election of delegates and primary elections of the APC conducted in April and May 2022 respectively, it was premature for the NNPP to approach the Court, as the INEC has not yet displayed the list of candidates submitted to it by various political party, which was only possible on 22nd July 2022.”

He explained that the suit was filed by the NNPP on 4th August 2022 in accordance with the provisions of Section 285 (9) (14) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) seeking for interpretation and application of the above-cited provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 and determination of the issues therein as to whether or not the action, decision and activity of the INEC of 22nd July 2022 which has bearing on the nomination of candidates and in preparations for the 2023 general elections are valid.

He noted that Section 285(9) notwithstanding, anything to the contrary in the Constitution, every pre-election matter shall be filed not later than 14 days from the date of the occurrence of the event, decision or action complained of in the suit.

According to him: “For the purpose of the section, “pre-election matter” means any suit by – a political party challenging the actions, decisions or activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission disqualifying its candidate in participating in an election or complaint that the provisions of the Electoral Act or any other applicable law have not been complied with by the Independent National Electoral Commission in respect of the nomination of candidates of political parties for an election, timetable for an election, registration of voters, and other activities of the Commission in respect of preparation for an election.”

Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi stated that the NNPP contends that the INEC ought not to include the names of such candidates of the APC in the list, as they have not emerged from valid primaries, by considering the fact that the five delegates per ward who elected the candidates are not known to the law.

He explained that the suit was filed on 4th August 2022 as a complaint for the clear non-compliance of the extant laws by the INEC, particularly as regards its refusal to invoke the provisions of sections 29 (1) and 84 (5) (8) (13) of the Electoral Act 2022 against the APC as a political party.

According to him, the NNPP contends that INEC ought not to include the names of such candidates of the APC in the list, as they have not emerged from valid primaries, by considering the fact that the five delegates per ward who elected the candidates are not known to the law.

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