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Court declines request to reject Tinubu, Atiku as APC, PDP’s candidates


By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

A Federal High Court in Abuja has declined the request for an interim order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a ruling on Tuesday, on an ex-parte motion, said it was proper to hear from other parties in the case filed by two groups – the Incorporated Trustees of Rights for Al International and the Northern Nigerian Youth Democrats – through their lawyer, Okere Nnamdi.

Justice Ekwo ordered the groups, who are plaintiffs in the substantive suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/942/2022 to serve all the defendants, including through newspaper publications.

The judge adjourned the hearing till July 14.

The plaintiffs are contending, in the substantive suit, that the national conventions held by both the APC and PDP were marred by an alleged act of corruption in the forms of delegates’ inducement and vote-buying.

They claimed that both candidates of the APC and PDP induced delegates with dollars and naira as allegedly claimed by some other participants in the conventions, including Dele Momodu (listed as the 11th defendant), Sam Ohuabunwa (listed as the 15th defendant) and Rotimi Amaechi (listed as the 25th defendant).

The plaintiffs are also contending that the PDP violated the Federal Character Principle and its constitution by electing a candidate outside the South-east geo-political zone.

They are praying the court to among others, void the outcome of both conventions and restrain INEC from accepting the two presidential candidates of the APC and PDP.

Defendants in the case include the APC, PDP, INEC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and all the presidential aspirants of both parties, who participated in both conventions.

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