July 2, 2022

The Federal High Court in Abuja ruled on Monday that the Action Alliance is ineligible to field candidates for the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.

Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the party failed to comply with the Independent National Electoral Commission’s guidelines that all political parties must have submitted their nomination forms by 6pm on September 9, 2019.

AA, along with its Kogi State governorship candidate, Dr Samuel Alfa; and his Bayelsa State counterpart, Ebi Peretiemo, had jointly filed the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1100/19.

They contended in the suit that having complied with the provisions of Section 85(1) to (2) and Section 31(1) Electoral Act, INEC could not have validly rejected their nominations for the forthcoming elections in the two states.

The plaintiffs said they were at the headquarters of INEC on September 9, 2019 to submit Forms CF 001 and CF 002, among other nomination forms for the two candidates.

They said they were given tag No. 15, but an INEC official in charge of the collection of the forms refused to accept their forms when it got to their turn.

Delivering judgment on Monday, Justice Ekwo held that the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence that they were on the premises of INEC or attempted to submit their forms before 6pm on September 9, 2019.

Justice Ekwo said, “I hold that their case lacks merit. The first plaintiff (AA), having not complied with the guidelines and regulations of INEC that it must submit its candidates’ nomination forms on or before 6pm on September 9, 2019, is ineligible to field candidates in the November 2019 governorship election in Kogi and Bayelsa states.”