A Federal High Court in Kano yesterday ruled that statutory delegates are constitutionally qualified to participate in all meetings, congresses and conventions of any registered political party in Nigeria, including the All Progressives Party (APC).
But the pronouncement of the court may have come late, as the APC has alreday submitted its list of delegates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Any attempt to alter the list three days to the presidential primary would contravene INEC guidelines for activities leading to the 2023 general election.
Sen Mas’ud El-Jibrin Doguwa, Hon Habibu Sani and Hon Bilyaminu Yusuf Shin’Kafi, (all aspirants of the ruling APC at the just concluded National Assembly primaries, had approached the court with a suit challenging the disenfranchisement of statutory delegates from participating at the primaries.
The suit marked FHC/KN/CS/13712022 has the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan; national chairman of APC, Abdullahi Adamu; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and INEC as defendant.
The Plaintiffs in their originating summons dated May 23, 2022 and filed on May 24, 2022, prayed the court for a declaration “that section 84(8) cannot be interpreted to have exclude Statutory delegates from voting at the Convention, Congress or Meeting by virtue of section 223 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Article 20(iv)(c) of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Constitution, which allow Statutory Delegation to vote at Convention, Congress or Meeting”
The 2nd defendant, Adamu, had filed a counter affidavit to the originating summons dated June 1, 2022.
But the 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants did not file any process in the suit.
One of the plaintiffs who spoke on phone and didnt want his name in print said they resorted to a legal action just to right the wrong and make sure that they are allowed to vote during the forthcoming special convention as a right and not priviledge.