AHEAD of tomorrow’s local government elections in Edo State, a state High Court presided over by Justice Nogi Imuokhuede, has ordered Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDSIEC, to refund all monies collected from candidates vying for the election as nomination fees.
It will be recalled that EDSIEC had collected, as non-refundable deposits, the sum of N100,000 for chairmanship candidates and N50,000 for councillorship candidates.
The order of the court was sequel to a suit against the commission by Edo Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, seeking a declaration that section 16(e) of Edo State Local Government Electoral Law 2012 and paragraph 5.1 of the guidelines issued by EDSIEC, were unconstitutional, invalid, null and void.
It had also asked the court to declare that the defendants have no power to add to the qualification and disqualification requirements for persons seeking to contest local government elections in the state.
Among reliefs sought by PDP was a declaration that EDSIEC lacked powers to screen and disqualify candidates for reasons not tenable under provisions of the constitution of Nigeria.
The party sought for an order of perpetual injunction restraining EDSIEC from rejecting candidates for the council elections on ground of non-payment of non-refundable deposit.
The PDP had asked the court to order EDSIEC to refund all its candidates all monies collected as non-refundable deposits.
Trial judge, Justice Nogi Imuokhuede granted all the reliefs sought by PDP after listening to argument of both counsel.
Meanwhile, Attorney-General of the state, Mr Henry Idahagbon has kicked against the judgment, saying an injunction could not be granted on an act already committed. He, said they were going to appeal the judgment.