by crossriverwatch admin
The Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja presided over by Honourable Justice A.F.A Ademola this morning nullified the election of Senator Gyang N. S. Pwajok, representing Plateau State Northern Senatorial District in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Court also nullified the election of Kaneng Gyang Fulani representing Barki/Ladi State Constituency of the Plateau State House of Assembly.
The two positions, Plateau North Senatorial District and that of the State House of Assembly became vacant following the demise of late Senator Gyang Dangtong and late Gyang Fulani at a mass funeral in Maseh Village on Sunday 8th July, 2012.
The Court held that INEC has no modicum of power under the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) to reject the name of any candidate submitted to it by a Political Party on an alleged ground of failure of the Party to conduct Primary Election.
The Court said that only aggrieved aspirants who contested for nomination in a Primary Election conducted by a Political Party for nomination of a candidate to fly its flag in a general election can file a case against such a Party on alleged ground of non conduct of the Primary Election in accordance with democratic principles.
The Court also struck down Section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) which ousted the jurisdiction of the Court from stopping top the holding of primaries or general election under the Electoral Act Act pending the determination of the suit for being at variance with Section 4 (8) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which provides that the exercise of legislative powers by the National Assembly or by a House of Assembly shall be subject to the jurisdiction of courts of law and of judicial tribunals established by law, and accordingly, the National Assembly or a House of Assembly shall not enact any law that ousts or purports to oust the jurisdiction of a court of law or of a judicial tribunal established by law.
The Court rebuked INEC for going ahead to conduct the election on the 6th October, 2012 even though it had notice of the case filed by the Congress For Progressive Change filed on the 4th October, 2012 challenging the power of INEC to reject the names of candidates submitted to INEC for the Plateau North Senatorial and Barki/Ladi State Constituency of Plateau State House of Assembly respectively on the ground that the Party failed to conduct Primary Election.
The Court said that the conduct of INEC in going ahead to conduct election on the 6th October, 2012 when it had notice of a pending suit smacks of executive lawlessness and impunity that is unbecoming of a supposedly responsibility constitutional body such as INEC.
The Congress for Progressive Change had filed Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/ 629 /2012 through its Counsel, Okoi Obono-Obla on the 4th October, 2012 seeking a declaration that INEC has no power to reject the names submitted as its candidates for the bye election to fill the vacant seats for Plateau North Senatorial District and Barki/Ladi State Constituency of the Plateau State House of Assembly respectively.
The Court agreed entirely with the submission of Counsel to CPC, Mr. Obono-Obla that the rejection of names submitted to it by the CPC on alleged ground that no primary election was conducted by the Party is unconstitutional, wrongful, illegal, arbitrarily and capricious.
Accordingly the Court ordered Gyang N. S. Pwajok and Kaneng Gyang Fulani to stop forthwith from parading themselves as Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District in the Senate and Baki/Ladi State Constituency of Plateau State House of Assembly respectively.
The Court consequently ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within 90 days.
The Court further Ordered INEC to put the names of candidates submitted by the CPC in the Ballot Paper for the election.
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