Alex Enumah in Abuja
The National Rescue Movement (NRM) has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the Federal High Court Abuja, over the non-inclusion of the name of its governorship candidate, Mrs. Jumoke Lawoyin, on the approved candidates list as a duly qualified candidate for the September 22 gubernatorial election in Osun State.
The legal action according to the party’s counsel, Kayode Ajulo, is necessitated by the refusal of INEC to include the name of the NRM candidate in the election despite numerous efforts to get the electoral umpire to do so.
Specifically, the plaintiffs is seeking for an order directing the Defendant to immediately recognise, identify and include the name of the 2nd Plaintiff in the Defendant’s approved voters list as a duly qualified candidate for the September 22, 2018, gubernatorial election in Osun State.
The counsel noted that the right of the Plaintiffs to be voted for at the upcoming election is currently under threat by the refusal of the Defendant to include the name of the 2nd Plaintiff in the list of the approved voters in the Osun State gubernatorial election.
Basically, the suit is for the interpretation of section 177 of the 1999 constitution, paragraph 15 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 constitution and section 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010.
In the originating summons, the party is asking for the determination of the following questions;
“Whether by a careful reading of Section 177 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the 2nd Plaintiff is not a qualified candidate eligible to contest for the office of the Governor of Osun State having been properly sponsored by the 1st Plaintiff who is duly registered in Nigeria.
“Whether by a combined reading of Paragraph 15 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Sections 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010 the Defendant is not in the wrong to have negligently and unlawfully omitted to include the name of the 2nd Plaintiff in the Defendant’s approved candidates list for the 2018 gubernatorial election in Osun State having participated in the 1st Plaintiff’s primaries wherein the 2nd Plaintiff emerged and was affirmed as the 1st Plaintiff’s candidate.
If the above questions are answered in favour of the party, the party is seeking a declaration that Mrs. Jumoke Lawoyin (the 2nd Plaintiff), is a duly qualified candidate and eligible to participate in the Osun State gubernatorial election of September 22 2018, having been properly sponsored by the 1st Plaintiff and affirmed through a properly conducted primaries wherein the Defendant was present.