Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
Two aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress in Katsina State have approached the Federal High Court in Abuja for an injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission from accepting any candidate nominated by the APC for the forthcoming 2019 general elections in the state.
The plaintiffs, Alhaji Garba Dankani, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC and Muhammad Mainasara, an aspirant for the Katsina Senatorial District seat, anchored their prayers contained in their suit on alleged failure of the party to hold ward congresses in the state.
They contended that failure of the APC to conduct ward congresses in the 34 local government areas of Katsina State implied that APC could not make valid nomination of candidates to INEC for the 2019 general elections in the state without first conducting valid congresses in the state.
Governor Aminu Masari, who is the governorship candidate of the APC in the state, and other candidates of the party for various elective offices are those whom the plaintiffs are seeking to be stopped from being accepted by INEC ahead of the 2019 polls.
The presiding judge, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo, on Wednesday fixed November 8 for the hearing of the suit which was filed on September 21, 2018.
The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1035/18, is an offshoot of the crisis rocking the ruling party in President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state.
The APC and INEC are joined in the suit as the first and second defendants, respectively.
Dankani (the 1st plaintiff) in the affidavit he deposed to in support of the suit said that on May 5, 2018, when the ward congresses were scheduled to hold in all wards in the 34 local government areas in the state, “neither members of the ward and local government committee nor person(s) purporting to be member(s) of any local organising committee was seen at any of the wards to conduct the congresses.”
“The congress was therefore aborted and could not hold and no official of the 2nd defendant (INEC) attended the congress,” the deponent added.
He said aspirants for various positions on the platform of the party subsequently met “and in a resolution reiterated the fact that congresses did not hold in all the wards in all the local government areas of Katsina State.”
The plaintiffs prayed the court to declare the local government and state congresses of the APC which held in Katsina State on May 12 and May 19, 2018 as null and void.
While the plaintiffs were represented by their lawyer, Olanipekun, INEC was represented by Umar Bukar.
Justice Giwa-Ogunbajo, who acknowledged the need to hear and determine the case expeditiously, fixed the hearing of the suit for November 8.