Group Asks Court To Prevent INEC From Allowing Labour Party Contest In Ondo, Edo Governorship Polls

Labour Party 1 1

A civil group, the Center for Reform and Public Advocacy (CRPA), has urged the Federal High Court in Abuja to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to exclude the Labour Party (LP) from the upcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo state.

In order to prevent acts of criminality and unconstitutionality, the organization urged that the Labour Party be barred from financing or nominating candidates for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo.

The organization’s main complaint is that the Labour Party intentionally refused to call a National Convention in order to elect national leaders as required by law, in violation of sections 222 and 223 of the 1999 Constitution.

The group requested a Federal High Court injunction prohibiting Julius Abure and Lamidi Apapa from nominating candidates or representing themselves as party National Officers in a lawsuit filed against INEC, the Labour Party, Abure, and Apapa.

Two lawyers, Ukpai Ukairo and Kalu Agu, filed the lawsuit, designated FHC/ ABJ/CS/301/2024, on behalf of the organization.

The plaintiff claimed that the Labour Party held its last National Convention on June 10, 2019, which produced the party’s incumbent national leaders.

The lawsuit additionally claimed that the party had violated sections 222 and 223 by failing to call another Convention within four years to elect new officers in accordance with the Constitutional provisions.

The organization said that the Labour Party should be outlawed because it violates the Constitution and that the court should order the Electoral Body to use section 225 of the Constitution to de-register the party.

The lawsuit asserted that INEC may proceed to approve the candidates if the Labour Party is not prevented from nominating candidates for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo.

The group claimed that Lamidi Apapa and Julius Abure had each allegedly held independent primary elections and that INEC ought to be prevented from admitting their nominations and from including the party’s emblem on the ballot.

The lawsuit said that the Labour Party’s national officers’ names and addresses are currently not registered with INEC as required by law.

A 30-paragraph document supporting the original summons claimed that democratic elections must be held by all political parties in Nigeria for a maximum of four years.

However, a date for the lawsuit’s hearing has not yet been set.