..Wants Saturday’s Primary Stopped
A governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Anambra State, Mr. Zeribe Ezeanuna, has dragged his party and the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to Court for allegedly, forcing him to pay five million naira compliance fee before partaking in the primary.
Others joined in the suit at the Federal High Court in Awka are, the National Chairman of the Party, Chief Uche Secondus, the National Organising Secretary Col Austin Akobundu (rtd) and Anambra State Chairman of the party, Sir Ndubuisi Nwobu
INEC had fixed November 6 for the governorship election in Anambra State, while PDP will hold its primary on Saturday, 26th June 2021
Ezeanuna, also, is claiming 50 million naira each, amounting to 200 million naira from the four defendants as damages for infringing on his Human Rights and discrimination on the basis of gender.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Dr. Jezie Ekejiuba, a Human Rights Lawyer, has already applied for an ex parte order of interim injunction restraining the defendants, their privies, servants, agents and those they represent from proceeding to conduct the PDP governorship primary, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
In suit No FHC/AWK/CS/29/2021, the plaintiff is asking the court presided over by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba to declare that the imposition of payment of what he called ‘commercialized and prohibitive’ fee of 5m by PDP and its officials on his client, as pre-condition for his participation in the pre-primary election was unknown to the electoral guidelines for gubernatorial elections.
Furthermore, he prayed the court to declare that the refusal by the defendants to allow his client to pay the sum of N1, 000,000.00 to obtain the PDP Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms as the female and richer aspirants was discriminatory against the plaintiff as it infringed on his fundamental right to freedom from discrimination under Section 42 (1) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.
He argued that the discriminatory provision N1 million for women on the basis of sex and N21,000,000:00 Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms fee for men on the basis of sex was inconsistent with the provisions of Section 42(1) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and therefore inoperative, null and void.
He said the unilateral imposition of payment totaling N26,000,000.00 by PDP and its officials against the plaintiff as a pre-condition for his participation in the pre-primary election is in conflict with the plaintiff’s constitutional right to qualification for election as Governor of Anambra State under Section 177(a) (b) (c) and (d) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The aspirant urged the court to set aside, nullify and void the outcome of the PDP primaries because of the wrongful exclusion and prevention of the plaintiff ab-initio from participating in it.
He prayed the court to direct INEC to exclude PDP candidate who would emerge from its primary from the list of nominated candidates for the November 6, 2021, Anambra State governorship election, for wrongfully excluding and preventing his client from participating in it.
He called for an order of perpetual injunction restraining PDP from further violating or infringing the plaintiff’s fundamental right to freedom from discrimination and constitutional right to qualification for election as Governor of Anambra State.
“The issues raised in this suit are complaints against violation of the plaintiff’s right to freedom from discrimination as well as his constitutional right protection under the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and non-compliance with the provisions.”
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