INEC slammed with N50m suit for issuing wrong Certificate of Registration to political party

Posted by News Express | 10 November 2016 | 2,306 times

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The Young Democratic Party (YDP) has approached a Federal High Court for an order of mandamus compelling the Independent National Independent Commission (INEC) to re-issue it with a certificate of registration bearing the date of May 2, 2014, being the date it was registered as a political party in compliance with the orders of the court.

Already, the suit has been fixed for hearing on November 11, 2016 before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja division.

In a motion exparte brought pursuant to order 34, rules 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Federal High Court rules, the applicant is demanding from INEC, the sum of N50 million, being damages for unlawful and unconstitutional denial of her rights and privileges as a political party.

The applicant is also asking for a declaration of the court that the refusal of INEC to comply with the judgment of a Federal High Court in suit N0. FHC/ABJ/CS/736/2014 between Young Democratic Party Vs Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), delivered on March 4, 2015 directing the electoral body to issue it with the certificate of registration bearing the date of May 2, 2014, being the date it was deemed registered by operation of law, is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.

In the said judgment in reference, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on March 4, 2015 held “It is therefore clear that from whatever angle one looks at the peculiar circumstances of this matter, the defendant (INEC), has not discharged its obligation of informing the plaintiff of the decision not to register it as a political party within 30 days stipulated in section 78 [4] of the Electoral Act. The effect of not informing the plaintiff within 30 days of the defendant’s decision not to register plaintiff as a political party is clearly slept out in section of the Act, and which is that the plaintiff is deemed to have been registered as a political party by operation of law.”

Although INEC appealed against the decision of the trial court, it lost as the Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson led three-member panel of the court on December 8, 2015, affirmed the judgment of the lower court.

In the suit with No. FCH/ABJ/CS/891/2016 filed by Gordy Uche [SAN], the party which predicated its case on 23 grounds stated that, INEC had only partially complied with the judgment of the court by issuing it a certificate of registration dated January 11, 2016, to take effect from December 8, 2016 and not properly dated as May 2, 2014.

The applicant further stated that it complained severally to the respondent to re-issue her with another certificate of registration to correct the error to no avail.

“That the applicant dissatisfied with the conduct of the respondent, then briefed the law firm of Gordy Uche [SAN], who wrote a letter dated June 6, 2016 to the respondent, demanding full and immediate compliance with the said judgment with respect to date of the certificate of registration.

It is also the position of the applicant that although the said letter from its counsel was received and acknowledged by INEC, the commission has refused to fully and correctly implements the said judgment of the court in its favour.

That rather than complying with the judgment, "the respondent merely issued the applicant with a certificate of registration with wrong date, in a calculated bid to frustrate, nullify and render nugatory the convention of the applicant and acts approved therein."

In addition, it the case of the applicant that INEC is deliberately foot-dragging in complying with the said judgment in a bid to nullify all lawful activities it had already carried out and executed before the date affixed on the certificate of registration most especially its National Convention and election of officers.


Source: News Express

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