A Federal High Court in Lagos has tentatively reserved judgment until Feb. 24, in a suit seeking to disqualify Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya (a.k.a. MC Oluomo) from distributing 2023 General Elections materials in the state.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke had on Feb. 20 granted an interim order preventing MC Oluomo or any of his agents from distributing election materials or INEC personnel in Lagos.
This followed a suit filed by Labour Party and five others against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The other plaintiffs in the suit No. FHC/L/CS/271/2023 are Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, Labour Party Gubernatorial Candidate for Lagos State; African Democratic Congress (ADC), Funsho Doherty, Boot Party and Wale Olumo
INEC is the defendant.
When the case was called on Wednesday for hearing of the substantive suit, Mr Abbas Ibrahim announced appearance for the plaintiffs.
There was no legal representation for INEC.
When asked if the hearing notice was served on INEC, the counsel told the court that the hearing notice was served on INEC on Monday.
He told the court that the matter was slated for hearing of the substantive suit and that he was ready to proceed with the originating summons dated Feb. 15 and filed on Feb. 16
While adopting his processes, the counsel told the court that the suit was brought pursuant to Section 6(6), 26, and 27(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as well as Section 2 of the Electoral Act.
He said that there was a 26-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit as well as eight exhibits and a written address.
He also told the court that there were three issues for determination in the processes.
He adopted same as his argument in support of his application, and urged the court to grant the prayers sought.
The judge consequently tentatively reserved the judgment until Feb. 24.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the plaintiffs had prayed for an order to restrain INEC from taking any further steps in the appointment of MC Oluomo-led Lagos State Parks Management Committee to distribute the 2023 General Election materials in Lagos State, pending determination of the substantive suit.
They also prayed for order abridging time within which the defendant would file its counter-affidavit to the substantive originating summons.
They also prayed for any order or orders as the court might deem fit to make in the circumstance.
The applicants averred that their rights to free and fair elections in Lagos State were being threatened by MC Oluomo’s engagement by INEC in the distribution of 2023 election materials in the state
They said that damages would not be an adequate remedy.
Other claims made by the applicants in the substantive suit include a declaration that the appointment of MC Oluomo-led Lagos State Parks Management Committee by INEC to distribute 2023 election materials and personnel in Lagos violates Sections 26 and 27 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
They also averred that the appointment of MC Oluomo-led Lagos State Parks Management Committee to distribute election materials and personnel in Lagos State would give room for election sabotage, manipulation and rigging in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The applicants asked the court for an order to set aside any partnership of any form executed by MC Oluomo’s Lagos State Parks Management Committee or any of its members to distribute election materials and personnel in Lagos.
They sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from contracting MC Oluomo, Lagos State Parks Management Committee or any of its members, to distribute 2023 General Elections materials and personnel in Lagos. (NAN)