Anambra 2021: YPP drags PDP, APC to court over guber primaries

July 10, 2021
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By Favour Goodness

The Young Progressives Party (YPP) has gone to Federal High Court, Awka seeking legal interpretations on the guber primary elections of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) claimed to have conducted in the state.

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The YPP had asked the court to interpret Section 285 (14)(c) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Section 87(1) of the Electoral Act (2010) as amended, and the Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of party primaries as provided by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the 2021 Anambra State Gubernatorial Election in view of the Primary Elections of both political parties.

In suit No. FHC/AWK/C5/53/21 filed at the Federal High Court Awka on its behalf by D.C DeNwigwe, SAN, the party asked the Court to determine the validity or otherwise of the purported Primary which the PDP conducted on 26th June, 2021.

According to the party, in view of Rule 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 of the guidelines for the Conduct of Political Parties Primaries 2018, the court should determine if the PDP’s purported primary is valid following the party’s failure to submit its delegates list 7 days before the date of the Primaries.

The party further referenced the judgement of the FCT High Court in Suit No. FCT/HC/BW/CV/160/2021 between Akaeze Ugochukwu Vincent and Peoples Democratic Party, and the decision of the Supreme Court in APC V. Marafa (2020) 6 NWLR (Pt. 1721) and asked the Court to determine if INEC is right not to have barred the PDP from holding the purported Primary on 26th June, 2021 that produced Valentine Ozigbo as the party’s flag bearer for the state’s 2021 governorship election and from further participation in the process of nomination of Candidates for the aforementioned election.

The YPP also asked the Court to determine whether INEC in view of the commission’s Monitoring Committee Report on the aforementioned PDP primary and the decision in APC V. Marafa (2020) 6 NWLR (Pt. 1721), can choose when to enforce Provisions of the Electoral Act, Rule 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 of the guidelines for the Conduct of Political Parties Primaries 2018 which require parties to submit their delegate lists to the commission 7 days before their Primaries. The party further asked the Court to determine whether INEC being a public regulatory body for political parties, is right not to have declared the purported Primary conducted on 26th of June, 2021 by the PDP as a nullity for being in violation of the judgment of the FCT High Court in Suit No. FCT/HC/BW/CV/160/2021 between Akaeze Ugochukwu Vincent and Peoples Democratic Party.

In a related development, the YPP also asked the Federal High Court, Awka to determine whether the purported Primary conducted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) on 26th June, 2021 which produced Sen. Andy Uba as the party’s flag bearer is void or otherwise.

In Suit No. FHC/AWK/C5/52/21, the party through D.C DeNwigwe, SAN, asked the Court to determine the validity of the aforementioned Primary in view of Section 285 (14)(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Section 87(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Guidelines for the Conduct of Party Primaries as provided by INEC and the Commission’s Monitoring Committee Report on the purported Primary conducted by the APC.

Also in the suit, the YPP in view of the Supreme Court decision in APC V. Marafa (2020) 6 NWLR (Pt. 1721), Section 285 (14)(c) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Section 87 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Party Primaries, and the Report of INEC Monitoring Committee on the aforementioned Primary, asked the Court to determine if INEC is right not to have barred the APC from further participation in the process for nomination of Candidates for the November 6th Anambra State Gubernatorial Election following the failure of the party to conduct Primary Election for the election of Candidate between 10th of June 2021-July 1, 2021 time frame given by the Commission for Conduct of Primaries.

The YPP also asked the Court to determine if INEC can choose when to enforce the provisions of the Electoral Act and its timetable requiring parties to hold Primaries in respect of Anambra 2021 Gubernatorial Election between 10th of June 2021-July 1, 2021 time frame given by the Commission for Conduct of Primaries.

The Party further asked the Court to determine whether INEC being a public regulatory body is right not to have declared the purported Primary of the APC conducted on 26th June, 2021, as a void for being in breach of Section 87(1) and Rule 7.1 of the Guidelines for Conduct of Party Primaries 2018 as per the report of the Commission’s Monitoring Committee on the purported Primary.

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