Rivers Election: APDA sues INEC, AGF, wants fresh election

FCT High Court (Photo Credit: The Metro Lawyer)

The Advance Peoples Democratic Alliance has approached the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to challenge the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regarding elections in Rivers State.

Following the various cases of violence during the March 9 elections in the state, INEC had announced a suspension of elections in the state on March 10.

The commission, however, resolved to continue collation of the results after a reported investigation into the issues that resulted in the suspension.

Over a dozen people were reported dead in the state following election violence.

Following the decision of INEC to continue the collation of results, APDA and its governorship candidate, Warigbani Zebulun, accused INEC of colluding with the Peoples Democratic Party and the African Action Congress to manipulate the outcome of the March 9 elections.

In a motion brought pursuant to order 3 rule 4 of the Federal High Court Rules 2009, the applicants are asking the court to initiate a response from INEC and the Attorney General of the Federation regarding a list of allegations against them.

APDA, through his lawyer, Adekunle Otitoju, is also asking the court to determine whether, in view of section 26 of the electoral act as amended, INEC was right to constitute itself into a committee to investigate the issues raised regarding the election, without involving the candidates who participated in the election.

They have also asked the court to determine whether the alleged decision of INEC to involve two parties: namely, the PDP and the AAC “alone” in its investigation was right.

Consequently, APDA has asked the court to declare that INEC had no right to have suspended the elections as well as constitute a committee to liaise with only a party in the election.

The applicant has also demanded a canceling of the results of 15 local governments where collation of results was pending before the suspension of results.

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Mr Otitoju who had told journalists after the hearing on Thursday that his clients had asked the court to direct a fresh election, also wants the court to replace the returning officer, Obo Efanga from presiding over elections in the state.

Also on Thursday, the PDP indicated interest to be joined in the suit through its lawyer, Emanuel Ukala.

According to Mr Ukala, the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the matter, because it is election related.

The judge, Inyang Ekwo adjourned the matter till April 2 for the hearing of the application.

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