APC in shock as court nullifies Kogi delegates list
By Wandoo Sombo
The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) ward and local government congresses in Kogi null and void.
The congresses were held in order to nominate a governorship candidate for the state’s governorship election in November.
While delivering judgement in a suit brought by a group of disgruntled APC members led by Mr Realwan Okpanachi, Justice James Omotosho nullified and set aside the congresses.
The court declared the two congresses invalid because they were not held in accordance with the Electoral Act of 2022 and the APC constitution.
The court barred the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising or using the illegal delegates list resulting from the party’s illegal congresses for the purpose of selecting its governorship flag bearer.
Justice Omotosho directed the APC leadership to hold new congresses in accordance with Section 84 of the Electoral Act of 2022 and Section 13 of the party’s constitution.
The judge agreed with the plaintiffs that the APC in Kogi failed to hold ward and local government congresses as required by law.
He also agreed with Mr. Ogwu James Onoja, SAN, and plaintiffs’ counsel that the APC violated Section 84 of the Electoral Act as well as Section 13 of its own constitution.
He claimed this was accomplished by fabricating the purported list of delegates and submitting it to INEC without the knowledge of the party’s registered members in the state.
The judge ruled that the APC failed to disclose the locations and times of the purported ward and local government congresses during the case’s trial.
He also claimed that the party failed to show the report of INEC officials who allegedly monitored the elections.
He also claimed that the APC failed to produce the result sheet containing the scores recorded by participants in the alleged congresses.
The major document presented to the court to justify the conduct of the aforementioned February 7 congresses, according to the judge, did not contain a single name of any human being.
He claimed it had the signatures of fictitious congress participants.
Because the documents lacked names, the judge declared that the exhibit was worthless and that no probate value could be assigned to it because it violated Section 133 of the Evidence Act.
Earlier, the judge rejected APC’s preliminary objections that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.
Realwan Okpanachi, Yahaya Nuhu, Omaonu Arome, Mustapha Idoko, Aku Goodman, and Abu Onechiojo are the plaintiffs in the FHC/ABJ/CS/329/2023 case.
The first and second defendants are the APC and INEC, respectively.
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