May 20, 2024

Edo Guber: Imansuangbon Seeks Akpata’s Disqualification As LP Candidate

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…Filed iuit in Benin, Abuja in pursuance of Akpata’s disqualification

By Simeon OSAJIE

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A governorship aspirant of the Labour Party (LP) Barr. Kenneth Imansuangbon has asked the court to prevent the alleged Governorship candidate of the party in Edo State from the September 21 election.

In a suit No. FHC B/CS/26/2024 and filed at the Federal High Court,
Benin Division by his Counsel A. A. Malik & Co., Imansuangbon said that Labour who is the 2nd Defendant in the suit erred by declaring Olumide Akpata the winner of the party’s primary conducted on February 23, 2024.

This is also as the Aspirant filed another suit at the Federal High Court in the Abuja Division where he alleged Olumide Akpata and his running mate to have lied under oat and supplied false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In the Abuja suit filed on April 12, 2024, Olumide Akpata who is the 1st Defendant, was joined in the suit by his running mate, Alufohai Faith, Labour Party and INEC as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants respectively.

Like in the second suit filed in the Benin Division, Olumide Akpata was only joined by LP and INEC as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants.

In the Benin suit, Imansuangbon said Olumide Akpata was not qualified to have contested the primary having violated the provisions of the Section 222(c) of the Nigeria Constitution as well as Article 28 of the party’s guidelines for the conduct of the primary.

Imansuangbon further averred that votes garnered by the 1st Defendant in the primary be declared invalid and wasted.

The Plaintiff who listed nine issues for determination and 18 others for declaration by the court, asked the court to set aside the LP February 23 governorship primary in Edo State.

He asked the court to determine if Olumide Akpata is qualified to have contested the primary having failed to sign or endorse the indemnity form issued him by the 2nd Defendant.

He also asked the court to determine if the votes garnered in the purported primary should not be voided and wasted in the face of outright disregard to the constitutional provisions of the country and that of the party.

Similarly, Barr. Ken Imansuangbon asked the court to determine if he that scored the second highest votes in the said primary should not be declared the winner and validly nominated to be the governorship candidate of the LP.

Alternatively, the court was asked to determine if party conducted the February 23 governorship primary in a manner outlined, prescribed or otherwise circumscribed by Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

That the court also determine if the primary did not run foul of the provisions of Section 84(2), (3), (4) & (5) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

In his declaration, the Plaintiff told the court to bar the INEC or any other agent, from recognizing Olumide Akpata as the governorship candidate of the Labour Party for the September 21 Edo governorship poll.

He also called for the withdrawal of the Certificate of Return issued by the 2nd Defendant to the 1st Defendant as the purported winner of the said primary.

While asking for the sum of N20 million as cost of the suit, Barr. Ken Imansuangbon asked that a fresh primary should be conducted not later than 30 days of the judgement of the court.

However, for the Abuja Division of the suit, Imansuangbon alleged Akpata supplied false information to the INEC according to information provided in their form EC9.

He said where Akpata claimed to have been Akpata Olumide Anthony, but filled his name to be Akpata Olumide Osaigbovo.

Similarly, his running mate who said that she was born in 1981, claimed to have had her first school leaving certificate same year she was born.

She was also alleged have gotten three certificates, OND, HND and PGD in the same year in 2005.

According to Imansuangbon, their actions contravene the provisions of Section 29(5) of the 2022 Electoral Act and also Section 182(i),(a) &(j) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

He thus sought for their disqualification and restrained from participating in the September 21 governorship election in Edo State.

Imansuangbon Abuja suit was accompanied with the affidavits in support of the originating summon.

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