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Group asks court to bar INEC from including Labour Party in Edo, Ondo guber polls


A Civil Group, Center for Reform and Public Advocacy, CRPA, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to bar Labour Party, LP, from participating in forthcoming Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.

The group demanded that Labour Party be prohibited from sponsoring or nominating candidates for the Edo and Ondo governorship polls to avert acts of illegality and unconstitutionality.

The major grouse of the group is that Labour Party is in breach of sections 222 and 223 of the 1999 Constitution by its deliberate refusal to convene National Convention for the purpose of electing national leaders as required by law.

In a suit instituted against INEC, Labour Party, Julius Abure and Lamidi Apapa, the group sought the order of the Federal High Court banning Abure and Apapa from nominating candidates or holding themselves out as National Officers of the party.

The suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/301/2024, was filed on behalf of the group by two lawyers, Ukpai Ukairo and Kalu Agu.

The plaintiff claimed that the Labour Party held its last National Convention on June 10, 2019, which produced the incumbent national leaders of the party.

The plaintiff further asserted that the party has run foul of the provisions of sections 222 and 223 by the refusal to convene another Convention within a period of four years to have new officers as stipulated by the Constitutional provisions.

Since it is in default of the Constitution, the group claimed that the Labour Party ought to be proscribed and that the Electoral body should be compelled by the court to invoke section 225 of the Constitution to de-register the party.

The plaintiff claimed that the Labour Party is intending to nominate candidates for the Edo and Ondo governorship polls and that unless it is restrained from doing so, INEC may proceed to accept the candidates.

The group said that both Julius Abure and Lamidi Apapa have purportedly conducted separate primary elections and that INEC should be stopped from accepting their nominees and from also putting the logo of the party on the ballot paper.

At the moment, the plaintiff claimed that names and addresses of National Officers of the Labour Party are not registered with INEC as required by law.

In a 30-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons, it was averred that it is mandatory for all political parties in Nigeria to hold election on democratic basis for a period not exceeding four years.

The affidavit deposed to by one Emmanuella Alisi, a Civil Rights Crusader and Field Officer of the group insisted that Labour Party convened its National Convention over four years ago and therefore no longer have Constitutional powers to exist and operate as a political party in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, no date has yet been fixed for hearing of the suit.

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