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One hundred House of Representatives and House of Assembly aspirants of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State have sued the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole and the Independent National Electoral Commission following the outcome of the party’s primaries in the state.
The aggrieved aspirants, led by a former speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Kenneth Olawale asked the court to declare that the APC did not have candidates for the National and State Assembly elections in the state for the forthcoming general election.
Apart from Oshiomhole and the INEC, other defendants in the suit included, the APC, the National Legal Adviser of the party, Mr Babatunde Ogala, the chairman of the party in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.
The aggrieved aspirants, who filed the suit through their counsel, Mr. Wale Omotoso said the ruling party violated the 2010 Electoral Act and the constitution of the country by presenting candidates for the forthcoming election without the conduct of party primaries which is one of the prerequisites for the emergence of candidates.
The prayer of the plaintiffs included, “ A declaration that the subversion of the Electoral Guidelines of the APC as stipulated in its constitution by the party machinery in Ondo State in respect of the House of Representatives and House of Representatives primaries purportedly conducted on the 5th of October, 2018 in their failure to give the claimants opportunity of being voted for by the members of the party as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended is illegal, invalid, unconstitutional, null and void.”
“A declaration that the hand picking of preferred candidates without conducting any primary election in any of the ward and constituency in Ondo State with no presence of any officials of INEC and members of the National Electoral Committee of the party amounting to pre-arranged choice of candidates is illegal, contrary to the electoral guidelines of the APC and the express provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended in 2015.
“A declaration that the harassment, molestation and intimidation of the claimants in their various leading to their being forcibly chased sway and embarrassed from all venues designed for the purpose of the primary elections with machetes and Dane guns by the hired thugs and hoodlums of the preferred candidates thereby ensuring that no primary election was held, amount to gross flagrant breach of electoral guidelines of the APC party and the express provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended in 2015.”
In the court’s ruling, the judge, Justice F. A Olubanjo ordered that all the defendants must be served and fixed the hearing of the case for hearing to November 12.