Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, has been approached to stop the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Frank Ibezim, from contesting the Imo North Senatorial by-election fixed for October 31.
In an originating summons marked CI/2776/2020 and dated September, the plaintiff, Maryann Okoro, prayed the court to also restrain the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), from accepting the nomination of Ibezim as the candidate of the party for the election.
He told the court that Ibezim did not posses the required educational qualification which he claimed to have had in his INEC Form CF001.
The plaintiff, through his lawyer, Mr Peter Abang, urged the court to disqualify the APC candidate based on the alleged false information supplied to INEC.
He posed six questions for the determination by the court including ten reliefs including a ‘determination as to whether having regard to the provisions of Section 66(1)(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and the 1st Defendant having presented forged educational qualification certificates to the 2″d Defendant for the purposes of his nomination/election for the Imo North Senatorial bye-election scheduled to hold on 31s October, 2020 or at any other date, the 1st Defendant is not by that very act or fact ineligible and therefore disqualified to be nominated and/or contest for the said election.’
Okoro is seeking a ‘declaration that the act and/or conduct of the 1st defendant in presenting a forged educational qualification Certificates in his INEC Form CFO01 to the 2nd Defendant wherein he falsely declared his educational qualifications for the purposes of nomination/election for the Imo North Senatorial bye-election scheduled to hold on 31st October, 2020 or at any other date, is illegal, unlawful and a gross violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).
‘A declaration that the 1st defendant having presented forged educational qualification certificatees to the 2md Defendant for the purposes of his nomination/election for the Imo North Senatorial by-election scheduled to hold of on 31 October, 2020 or at any other date, the 1 Defendant is by that very act or fact ineligible and therefore disqualified to be nominated and/or contest for the said election.
‘An order of injunction restraining the 1st defendant, by himself, agents, servants. privies or howsoever described from parading or in any other manneer whatsoever holding out himself as been quali fied and/or eligible to contest for the Imo North Senatorial bye-clection scheduled to hold on 31st October, 2020 or at any other date.
He said in the affidavit deposed to by Kenneth Ugwu: ‘That by the false information given to the 2nd defendant (INEC), the 1st defendant (Ibezim) has breached the law and therefore not eligible to be nominated r contest for the Imo North Senatorial bye election schedule to hold on October 31, 2020 or at any other date.
‘That the action of the 1st defendant in presenting false information regarding his educational qualification and/or date of birth; and of the 2nd defendant in accepting and recognising his nomination is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.
‘That it would be illegal amd unconstitutional for an unqualified person such as the 1st defendant to stand for an election and seek to be voted for in the Imo North Senatorial bye electio schedule to hold on October 31, 2020 or at any other date’