Alex Enumah in Abuja
Nearly two years after the conclusion of the 2015 general election, the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to nullify the election largely won by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), citing violation of campaign expenses limit during the poll.
The HDP is also asking the court to order President Muhammadu Buhari who won the presidential election and the Vice Professor, Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) to step aside from office and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to be dissolved on the claim that the election which put them in place was not competent in the face of the law.
The party in a suit instituted in Abuja accused both the APC and PDP of breaching Sections 3, 14,15,30 and 139 of the 1999 Constitution and Sections 91 and 92 of the Electoral Act 2010 on the N1billion campaign expenses limit.
The court action with reference No. FHC/ACT/CS/405/2017 was instituted by Udegbunam Emmanuel on behalf of the plaintiff which claimed to be one of the registered political parties in the country.
The defendants are APC, President Buhari, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), PDP and Osinbajo as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants respectively. The case was predicated on the recently released findings and report of the INEC on the 2015 general election review which reportedly indicted APC and PDP for exceeding the N1billion campaign expenses and which showed specifically that APC expended about N500billion and PDP almost a trillion naira on the poll.
The plaintiff asked the court to determine whether by virtue of sections 3,14,15,30 and 139 of the 1999 constitution and sections 91 and 92 of the Electoral Act 2010, the May 29, 2015 inauguration of a four-year tenure government under President Buhari cannot be abridged, questioned and dissolved following the reported revelation of the INEC that the 2015 presidential election in which the government is constituted is based on violations of the laws limiting presidential campaign expenses not above or beyond N1billion.
The court was also asked to determine whether by virtue of the provisions of the law conferred on the court under Section 6(6), 14, 15 and 139 of the 1999 Constitution and section 90 of the Electoral Act 2010, the Presidential Election of 2015 based on proven illegalities established by INEC is not liable to be investigated and probe and for the court to dissolve based on the breach of the provisions of the law.
HDP therefore sought court declaration that by virtue of the 1st , 2nd and 4th defendants reported violation of law on campaign expenses limit, the inauguration of the APCâ€™s federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari as unlawful and dissolvable.
The party also applied for an express order of the court abridging the four-year tenure of the APC led government under Buhari and dissolving the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to make way for any early fresh election.
In the alternative, the party said by the doctrine of necessity, the court should order immediate constitution of an all-inclusive government of national unity to be headed by its presidential candidate in the 2015 presidential election, Chief Albert Ambrose Owuru, being the most progressive, revolutionary and visionary candidate at the election pending the conduct of another election by INEC.
HDP also sought another order of the court to bar the APC and PDP from participating and presenting candidates at such re-scheduled future presidential election.
No date has yet been fixed for hearing of the suit.