Political Appointees Drag APC, INEC To Court Over Disqualification Threats

A governorship and two House of Representatives aspirants have dragged the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over threats to disqualify them from taking part in the 2023 general elections.

The aspirants, Ambassador Sodique Baba Abubakar, Sodique Lawal Abubakar and Bindir Umar Buba are praying the court to stop APC and INEC from disqualifying them on the strength of their being political appointees and section 84 (11) and (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

The suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/641/2022 was instituted on their behalf by their counsel, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN).

The three plaintiffs are contending that section 84 (11) and (12) of the new Electoral Act is discriminatory against them and unconstitutional and therefore should not be permitted by the court to be used to disqualify them on account of their mere political appointment.

In their originating summons filed on May 11, the plaintiffs want the court to determine whether being Nigerians covered by sections 66, 177, 182 of the 1999 Constitution can be subjected to any other conditions, rules or guidelines for the purpose of election into the office of the governor of Bauchi State and House of Representatives respectively by APC under section 221 of the Constitution other than the qualifications and criteria set out in sections 66, 177 and 182 of the Constitution.

They also ask the court to determine whether being card carrying members of APC and political appointees they can be prevented or barred from participating in its conventions, congresses or primaries merely because they are political appointees.

The plaintiffs further sought determination of whether the directive of APC based on section 184 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022 that political appointees must resign their positions 30 days before they can participate in its conventions, congresses or primaries for the purpose of standing as political party candidates in the coming election is constitutional.