From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to display the list of candidates seeking various elective positions under the Hon. Adekunle Rufai Omoaje-led faction of the Action Alliance (AA).
The court presided over by Justice Z.B Abubakar also held that the electoral body erred by failing to give recognition to the list of candidates submitted to it by Omoaje who is the National Chairman of the AA.
Omoaje had on behalf of himself and the Action Alliance approached the court to seek redress on none recognition of the candidates submitted to INEC by him on behalf of the party.
By the ruling of the court, the candidates already announced by INEC including the presidential candidate, Mallam Hamzat Al-mustapha whose names were submitted by Mr Kenneth Udeze led faction of the party are expected to be substituted by the list of candidates submitted by Omoaje.
Al-mustapha had earlier been announced as the presidential candidate of the AA by INEC, having emerged as the candidate of the Udeze-led faction and his name was already published on the website of the electoral body.
However, with the latest court judgment, Al-mustapha may be replaced with that of Mr. Solomon David Okanigbuan who emerged as the presidential candidate of the Omoaje-led faction.
Recalled that Sunday Sun had exclusively reported that Al-mustapha might risk losing the AA’s presidential ticket going by the litigation against him.
Delivering his ruling on Friday, Justice Abubakar who cited section 2(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 ordered INEC to immediately publish the names and addresses of all candidates submitted by Omoaje on behalf of the AA.
“By the provision of section 29(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the INEC should publish by displaying at the relevant office or offices of INEC and on its website, the names of all candidates submitted to it by the applicant (Omoaje).”
Reacting to the judgment, Omoaje said it was a welcome development.
Meanwhile, Hamza Al-Mustapha Volunteer Youth Ambassadors, HAVOYA, has dismissed as unfounded and untrue the rumour that Al-Mustapha has pulled out of the presidential race.
Speaking to newsmen, yesterday, during an international press conference in Abuja, the Director General of HAVOYA, Sir Abdullah Mohammed Narabi, said the attempt to weaken the morale of eligible voters from voting for Al-Mustapha would fail.
“For the benefit of the doubt and to set the record straight, Dr. Hamza Al-Mustapha is the only Presidential Candidate of the Action Alliance, AA, as published by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and is one hundred percent in the 2023 Presidential race.
“Al-Mustapha remains the only Presidential Candidate with in-depth knowledge and technical competency needed to address the current insecurity challenges in Nigeria and he is ready to provide the leadership needed to drive the process of making Nigeria great again,” he said.