Rochas Foundation

A former National Organising Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Osita Izunaso, has approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, seeking an order stopping Governor Rochas Okorocha from parading himself as the party’s candidate for the 2019 general elections for Imo West Senatorial District.

The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1107/2018, was jointly filed by Izunaso, Honourable Oliver Okafor and Barrister Thaddeus Asoegwu (as plaintiffs) while defendants are the INEC, APC and Governor Rochas Okorocha, who are 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.

Ahmed Raji SAN, filed the suit, dated 10th October, 2018 on behalf of the plaintiffs.

By the suit, Izunaso and the two other plaintiffs want a declaration that the 1st defendant (INEC) has a duty not to recognise or deal with the 3rd defendant (Rochas Okorocha) as the 2nd defendant’s candidate for the 2019 general election into the Imo West Senatorial District.

“A declaration that the 2nd defendant actions in preventing the 2nd and 3rd plaintiffs from casting their votes for the aspirant of their choice at the election for Imo West senatorial district held on 6th October, 2018 is illegal and unlawful.

They want a declaration that the 2nd defendant (APC) has a duty not to present or hold out Rochas Okorocha (3rd defendant) as its candidate for the 2019 general elections for Imo West (Orlu Zone) senatorial district.

The plaintiffs are also praying for a declaration that the declaration and return of Okorocha by the APC as its candidate for the 2019 general elections for Imo West (Orlu Zone) Senatorial District is unlawful, null and void.

In addition, the plaintiffs are seeking an order of court “prohibiting the 2nd defendant (APC) from presenting or holding out the 3rd defendant (Okorocha) or any other person whatsoever as its candidate for the 2019 general elections for Imo West (Orlu Zone) senatorial district.”

More so, they are praying for an order directing the 2nd defendant under, the supervision of the 1st defendant to reorganise a fresh primary election for the Imo West Senatorial District of the Imo State to elect the candidate of the 2nd defendant for the 2019 election.

“An order prohibiting the 1st defendant from recognizing or dealing with the 3rd defendant or any other person whatsoever as the 2nd defendant candidate for the 2019 general election for Imo West (Orlu Zone) Senatorial District, Imo state.”

Before seeking the afore-stated reliefs, the plaintiffs posed four questions for the court to determine.

They want the court to determine, whether, “Upon proper interpretation of paragraph 15(c) Part 1 of the 3rd Schedule to the 1999, as amended, second 8(2)(b), and section 86(1) to (4) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, the 1st defendant (INEC) can recognize a candidate of a political party who purportedly emerged after the party primary election when there has been an unlawful exclusion of another aspirant of the party in the primary election.

“Upon proper interpretation of section 87(1) and (3) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, Articles 7(viii) (ix) and 9, of the 2nd defendant’s guidelines for the nomination of candidates for 2019, whether the 2nd defendant on has the vires, in contravention of its guidelines, has the right to exclude the plaintiffs from being a contestant in the 2nd defendant’s primary election for Imo West senatorial district held on 6th October 2018.”

The plaintiffs want the court to determine whether having directed the use of direct primaries in Imo, it is lawful for the APC to exclude the 2nd and 3rd plaintiffs from casting their votes for the aspirant of their choice in the senatorial primary election of the APC.

The matter, which is before Justice Binta Nyako, has been adjourned to November 22, for hearing.

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