One hundred House of Representatives and House of Assembly aspirants of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State have dragged the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to court, following the outcome of the party’s primaries in the state.
The aggrieved aspirants, led by a former speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Kenneth Olawale asked the court to declare that the ruling party did not have candidates for the National and State Assembly elections in the state for the forthcoming general election.
Other defendants in the suit include, the APC, the National Legal Adviser of the party, Mr Babatunde Ogala and chairman of the party in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.
Through their counsel, Mr. Wale Omotoso the aggrieved aspirants said the APC violated the 2010 Electoral Act and the constitution of the country by presenting candidates for the forthcoming election without the conduct of party primaries asking the court to declare that the ruling party does not have candidates for the national and state assembly elections in the state.
The plaintiffs said “a declaration that the subversion of the electoral guidelines of the APC as stipulated in its constitution by the party machinery in Ondo State in respect of the House of Representatives and House of Assembly primaries purportedly conducted on the 5th of October, 2018 in their failure to give the claimants opportunity of being voted for by the members of the party as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended is illegal, invalid, unconstitutional, null and void.
“A declaration that the hand picking of preferred candidates without conducting any primary election in any of the ward and constituency in Ondo State with non-presence of any officials of INEC and members of the National Electoral Committee of the party amounting to pre-arranged choice of candidates is illegal, contrary to the electoral guidelines of the APC and the express provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended in 2015.
“A declaration that the harassment, molestation, and intimidation of the claimants in their various wards leading to their being forcibly chased away and embarrassed from all venues designed for the purpose of the primary elections with machetes and Dane guns by the hired thugs and hoodlums of the preferred candidates thereby ensuring that no primary election were held, amount to gross flagrant breach of electoral guideline of the APC and the express provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended in 2015.”
Presiding Judge, Justice F. A Olubanjo, has ordered that all the defendants must be served before the hearing could begin and has adjourned the case to November 12.