Nigeria News

Court Stops Elections in Three LGAs in Enugu as APC Pulls Out

An Enugu State High Court presided over by Justice A. O. Onovo, Thursday restrained the state Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) from going ahead with the conduct of elections in three local government areas in the state.
The council elections in which only candidates of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for chairmanship positions were cleared to contest is scheduled for tomorrow.
The court also granted leave for judicial review to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) against ENSIEC.
Counsel to APGA, Mr. Alex Amujiogu, said the implication of the leave granted to his clients to stay all actions relating to or connected with the complaints of the applicants.
APGA in the state had approached the court to seek an order for judicial review alongside an order of mandamus injunction.
The orders followed two different suits filed by the APGA candidates in Isi-Uzo Ezeagu and Ngwo-Asa ward of Udi local councils.
The two APGA chairmanship candidates in Isi-Uzo and Ezeagu Local Government Areas were disqualified by the ENSIEC on the grounds that their running mates were not qualified to run for the election.
Speaking with journalists at the end of the court session, APGA’s counsel, Amujiogu, said by the order of the court, ENSIEC had been stopped from conducting the election.
According to him, "We are before the Enugu State High Court to seek order for judicial review, in line with order of mandamus injunction and declarative order to stop the ENSIEC from conducting local government election.
"Today, the honourable court after reviewing the facts in our application, has granted the applicants leave to compel ENSIEC to appear before it on November 7."
He continued: "By virtue of Rule 3 sub 6, where leave for judicial review has been granted, it is leave for stay of all actions relating to or connected with the complaints of the applicants.
"In this case, it has to do with the conduct of local government elections in Isi-Uzo and Ezeagu Local Government Area chairmanship elections as well as Ugwuasa ward.
"ENSIEC disqualified some candidates on the grounds that the tax clearance they presented was from another state, but the same law the ENSIEC relied upon never said tax clearance from Enugu State. The law is there for everybody to see.
"So, we are going to serve the ENSIEC this order of court and once that is done, they cannot go ahead with the election."
Meanwhile, while it was jubilation for APGA supporters at the court, it was a different thing for the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a sister court refused to grant the order it sought against the ENSIEC.
The court presided over by the state Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike, did not grant the injunction stopping the election.
Addressing journalists, the chairman of the APC local government election committee in the state, Dr. Ben Nwoye, said the party would not participate in the November 2 elections.
He said it was unfortunate that the PDP government in the state decided to stop opposition parties from taking part in the election.
Nwoye said out of 260 councillors and 17 chairmanship candidates filed by the APC, the ENSIEC cleared only four councillors and disqualified the rest under flimsy reasons.

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