An Abuja-based lawyer, Osigwe Momoh, has dragged the All Progressives Congress (APC) before an Abuja Federal High Court for fielding two Muslims as presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2023 election.
The lawyer in the suit asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) from publishing the name of the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, over alleged violation of the Nigerian Constitution.
Momoh argued that the development violated the principle and the spirit of the Nigerian Constitution.
A copy of the court processes in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1188/2022, was obtained by journalists in Abuja on Monday.
The APC, Tinubu and INEC were named as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, respectively, in the suit.
Momoh noted that political parties must, by virtue of Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), have their presidential and vice presidential candidates from different sections (tribal and religious groups) of the nation.
He, therefore, sought a declaration that by virtue of sections 14 (1) and (3), 15 and 224(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the defendants are bound by the principles of Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution and having the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the same religion is unconstitutional and null and void.
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The court was also asked to declare that “all political parties must, by virtue of Chapter Two of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigerian Constitution (as amended), have their presidential and vice presidential candidates from different sectional (tribal and religious) groups of the nation”.
The plaintiff further asked the court for “an order nullifying the candidacy of the APC, Tinubu (1st and 2nd defendants) for same being unconstitutional and against the spirit and letters of sections 14 (1) and (3), 15 and 224 (a) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
The rights activist requested the court to restrain the 3rd defendant (INEC) from publishing the candidate of the 1st defendant (APC) as a presidential candidate for the forthcoming 2023 general election.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.
Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice and good governance. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.