The Enugu State local government election scheduled to hold on November 4 appears to be under threat as the All Progressives Congress (APC) has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) to court one week to the poll.
The ENSIEC had last week disqualified 73 candidates of the APC from participating in the election, but reversed itself on Thursday.
But the APC on Friday filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Enugu to compel the electoral bodies to publish the names of its candidates for the election before the poll would hold on Saturday.
The state chairman of APC, Dr Ben Nwoye, Okoye Hillary Monday and Philip Ogechukwu Eze filed the suit on behalf of the candidates of the party, while the ENSIEC and INEC are joined as 1st and 2nd defendants in the suit respectively.
The APC in the motion on notice brought pursuant to Order 26&28 of the Federal High Court Rules, 2009, sought among others: “An order mandating the first respondent to publish the list of names of the 260 candidates for councillorship positions of various wards and the 17 candidates for local government chairmen submitted to them by the applicants as their validly nominated candidates to contest for the election pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“An order restraining the 2nd respondent from releasing the voters’ registers of Enugu State to the 1st respondent for the purpose of conducting and organizing the chairmanship and councillorship elections in the local government areas of Enugu State until the names of the candidates presented by the applicants are included and published as candidates for the various area councils/wards they represent, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“An order restraining the 1st respondent from conducting the local government chairmanship/councillorship elections without including and publishing the names of candidates submitted by the applicants to contest, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
The plaintiffs claimed that, according to the law, they “submitted to the 1st respondent the list of her qualified and nominated candidates for the November 4 local government election in Enugu State as the umpire in the election.
“The first defendant without any powers under any known law verified, screened and purportedly disqualified candidates of the plaintiff without any reason.
“The first defendant without any reason failed and/or neglected to publish the voters’ register of voters in Enugu State 30 days before the election as required by the law.”