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APC crisis: Party member prays court to nullify Enugu primaries

The last is yet to be heard on the controversies generated by the primary elections conducted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State as an aggrieved member has filed a suit before the Federal High Court Enugu, asking the court to nullify the entire exercise.



DAILY POST reports that in the suit number FHC/EN/CS/122/2018, the plaintiff, Mr. Ifeanyi Onwuamaze, a registered member of APC in Affa/Ikono/Oghu ward of Udi local government area of Enugu State, asserted that the entire primaries held on the 3rd and 4th of October 2018, should be nullified, as the open ballot system of voting adopted, violated Section 37 of the 1999 constitution as amended.


APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were joined as 1st and 2nd respondents respectively in the fundamental human rights enforcement suit instituted by Godwin Onwusi Esq., on behalf of the plaintiff.
In a 32-paragraph affidavit in support of his application, Onwuamaeze maintained that subjecting him to open ballot system of voting is a violation of his right and that of other party members to keep private the knowledge of who they voted for in an election, including the primary elections of 3rd and 4th of October, 2018, as guaranteed by Section 37 of the 1999 constitution (as altered).
He insisted that the National Assembly, Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly primary elections of the 1st respondent (APC), conducted on 3rd and 4th of October in all the 260 wards in Enugu state, using open ballot system, were unconstitutional, null and void and that the candidates who emerged from such unconstitutional primaries were not lawful and valid candidates.

The plaintiff/applicant who attacked documentary evidence including a video clip to show that open ballot voting system was used for the primaries, sought among other reliefs, a declaration that he and other members of the party were entitled to the privacy of the knowledge of who they vote in an election, including the October 3rd and 4th 2018 APC primary elections, as guaranteed by section 37 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria (as altered).
Other reliefs sought by the plaintiff include a declaration that the open ballot system of voting, that is, queuing behind the candidate of your choice in the full glare of everybody, constitutes a violation of his constitutional rights and other party members to the privacy of who they vote for in an election, including the last primary elections of APC.
He further asked the court for a declaration that the primary elections of the 1st respondent, APC, conducted by the Professor Moses Momoh led panel via open ballot system in Enugu state on the aforementioned date, to nominate her National Assembly, Gubernatorial and House of Assembly candidates for the 2019 general elections were unconstitutional, null and void, having been conducted in violation of Section 37 of the 1999 constitution (as altered).
Onwuamaeze asked for an order nullifying/ setting aside the APC primary elections conducted in Enugu State, having been conducted via an unconstitutional open ballot system.
He prayed for an order disqualifying all APC National Assembly, Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly candidates who emerged from the said unconstitutional primary elections conducted by the Professor Moses Momoh led panel in Enugu State.
The remaining reliefs sought are: “An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1strespondent, its officers, agents and privies from further using open ballot system of voting, that is, queuing behind the candidate or portrait of the candidate of your choice, in all her primary elections.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 2nd respondent, its officers, agents and privies from publishing, putting in the ballot or putting forward for the 2019 general elections, all the 1st respondents National Assembly, Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly candidates who emerged from the unconstitutional primaries conducted on the 3rd and 4th October 2018.
“An order nullifying the election of all the National Assembly, Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly candidates of the 1st respondent for Enugu State who emerged from the unconstitutional primary elections conducted on the 3rd and 4th of October, 2018, should they or any of them be put forward for or included in the ballot for the 2019 general elections by the 2nd respondent.”
He prayed for any other or further orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.

Meanwhile, the court has fixed the hearing of the matter for November 12, 2018.
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