Posted by News Express | 27 September 2018 | 4,734 times
A leading rights group, President, Voters Rights International, has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) demanding the disqualification of President Muhammadu Buhari, the presumptive candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) from participating in the 2019 polls if nominated for the position based on the N45 million form bought for him by a fledgling group.
The group in a letter to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, dated September 24, 2018, threatened to take legal action if its demand is not met. Below is the letter signed by Barrister Jezie Ekejiuba, a Human Rights Lawyer and President of Voters Rights International:
PRE-ACTION NOTICE: EXCLUDE APC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
IF NOMINATED WITH NCAN’S N45M FORM
1. I write to you Sir, on the above subject-matter for myself as a registered voter and on behalf of other registered voters in Nigeria whose voters rights to vote for a validly nominated candidate in 2019 general elections deserves protection under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
2. I hereby formally petition to your Commission to exclude All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential Candidate from the List of Candidates for 2019 Presidential election if nominated with Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network, NCAN’S N45m APC Nomination Form on the grounds following.
3. The Presidential Nomination Form of a political party, APC is not purchased by any person who is not an aspirant or human person qualified for election under Section 131 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) as illegally done by the unregistered body, NCAN in this present case.
4. It is an undisputed fact that on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at APC National Secretariat, Abuja, NCAN purchased the APC Presidential Nomination Form not being an aspirant or human person competent to do so under the Constitution of Nigeria and the Electoral Act.
5. It is also an undisputed fact that on the above date of purchase of the said APC Presidential Nomination Form by NCAN, Mr President was absent in Nigeria and attending FOCAC Beijing Summit in China.
6. It is also an undisputed fact that on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, Mr President received the APC Presidential Nomination Form from NCAN purportedly purchased on his behalf.
7. It is also an undisputed fact that at the time and date when NCAN purchased the APC Presidential Nomination Form, NCAN was neither a registered body nor an accredited agent or representative of Mr President and not even an aspirant or human person qualified to purchase the said Nomination Form under the Constitution of Nigeria and the Electoral Act.
8. Section 131 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) provides that only a human person is qualified for election to the office of President thus:
“A person shall be qualified for election to the office of President if –
(a) he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth.
(b) he has attained the age of forty years
(c) he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and
(d) he has been educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent”.
9. NCAN, an unregistered body that purchased APC Presidential Nomination Form is neither a member of APC nor an aspirant or human person capable of being sponsored by the political party, APC under Section 131(C) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) above-cited.
10. Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) provides:
“Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of this Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate for the election shall not be included in the election for the particular position”
11. On the proper community reading and interpretation of Section 131 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) especially Section 131(C) and Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), no aspirant or human person has yet purchased APC Presidential Nomination Form till date of this petition to contest the 2019 Presidential election. In other words, the APC Presidential nomination process has not yet been activated and there cannot be a candidate by law without nomination process kick-started with valid purchase of nomination form by qualified aspirant or human person known to law.
12. TAKE PRE-ACTION NOTICE that should APC go ahead to nominate any Presidential Candidate with NCAN’s purchased N45m APC Nomination Form and the Commission despite this petition still refused to exclude the said presidential candidate from the List of Candidates for 2019 Presidential election pursuant to the above-cited provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act, I shall have no other option than to approach the Federal High Court of Justice under the Originating Summons for proper interpretation of Section 131 of the 1999 Constitution especially Section 131(C) to seek declarations and consequential orders to disqualify and nullify any such APC presidential candidate.
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