By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA
Three Abuja-based legal practitioners yesterday instituted an action before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to disqualify three prominent candidates in the forthcoming presidential election following their alleged breach of the Electoral Act.
Those the lawyers are praying the court to declare ineligible to participate in the presidential contest are candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, that of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as well as the flag-bearer of the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi.
The plaintiffs, Ataguba Aboje, Oghenovo Otemu and Ahmed Yusuf, in their suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1004/2022, are contending that the three candidates and their political parties, flouted the electoral law by their failure to nominate their vice presidential candidates before the conduct of their primary elections as required by law.
They want the court to among other things, determine, whether by the provisions of Sections 131, 141 and 142 of the 1999 Constitution, the office of the Vice President of Nigeria is an elective office subject to the same qualification for the office of the President of Nigeria.
Whether by the provisions of Sections 131, 141 and 142 of the Constitution and Sections 29, 32, 84 and 152 of the Electoral Act, 2022, a candidate for an election to the office of the Vice President in Nigeria must be sponsored by a political party and whether in view of the same provisions, a candidate for an election to the office of the President can be deemed to be validly nominated and declared winner of a primary election without first nominating associate from the same political party for the office of Vice President and both of them participating in the primary.
More so, the Plaintiffs, are asking the court to determine whether in view of the same provisions of the laws, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, can accept from a political party, nomination of a candidate for election to the office of the President who participated alone in the primary election without nominating another candidate as associate from the same political party to occupy the office of the Vice President.
Upon determination of the issues, the lawyers want the court to make a declaration that the office of the Vice President is an elective office subject to the same qualification as the office of the President and another declaration that a candidate for an election to the office of the Vice President must be sponsored by a political party in accordance with Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
They further averred that several days after the conclusion of their respective primaries, APC, PDP and LP, submitted to INEC, names of Alhaji Kabir Masari, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Dr. Doyin Okupe as their respective Vice Presidential candidates.
They argued that such nomination was not done in compliance with the law.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.