Enugu LG polls: APA sues INEC for deregistration

The African Peoples Alliance (APA) has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court for deregistering the party ahead of the February 29 local government elections in Enugu State.

Joined as defendants in the suit no. FHC/EN/CS/21/2020 filed on Friday at the Federal High Court in Enugu by counsel for APA, Mr Chukwunonso Ogbe, are the Attorney General of the Federation and his Enugu State counterpart.

Also joined in the suit brought through originating summons is the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC).

Ogbe said that the process was brought in pursuant to the provisions of Sections 221 and 225A of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Order 3 Rule 7 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rule 2019.

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The counsel said that the suit sought to determine the propriety of deregistering the party at a time it had nominated candidates for the upcoming council polls in the state to be conducted by ENSIEC.

He said that the party would pray for other reliefs if the court so holds that INEC could not deregister a political party that had validly nominated candidates for elective positions.

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“One of the reliefs is for the court to declare that the action of the first respondent amounted to a violation of the rights of the plaintiff to exist as a political association.

“We are also praying the court to declare as null, void and of no effect, the purported act of deregistration of the plaintiff.

“We are also seeking for an order restraining ENSIEC and Attorney General of Enugu State from disqualifying the candidates of the plaintiff from vying for elective posts on February 29,” he said.

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Ogbe said that the plaintiff also sought for N1 million general damages against INEC for deregistering the party after nominating candidates for a council election.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the defendants have 30 days after service of the summons to enter appearance.

INEC on February 6 announced the deregistration of some political parties in the country, with the inclusion of APA.

Meanwhile, the deregistration of the party came at a time it had nominated candidates and started campaigns for the February 29 polls in Enugu State.

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