The senatorial candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2023 general election, Comrade Chika Idoko, has taken his case, seeking to disqualify all the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the Supreme Court.
This follows judgments from both the Federal High Court, Enugu, and the Court of Appeal, also sitting in Enugu, which had, in their judgments, ruled that Comrade Idoko has no locus standi to initiate the cases against the PDP candidates.
Idoko’s case against PDP began in the middle of the year 2022 when he went to court to seek the disqualification of all the PDP candidates in the election, for alleged violation of the Electoral Act in the conduct of the party’s primary elections.
Idoko, who dragged the PDP and its candidates, alongside the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court, claimed that the PDP primary elections were in contravention of Section 77 of the Electoral Act, 2022, and should thus be voided, adding that the party should be punished in line with extant provisions of Section 84 of the same Act.
His argument was that the party submitted its membership register to INEC on May 6, 2022, less than 30 days before its primary elections, contrary to the provisions of the Act.
Both the high court and the appellate Court ruled against him on the grounds that he has no locus standi, because he was not a member of the PDP.
In its own case, the Court of Appeal delivered what looked like a punitive judgment when it slammed a N37 million fine against the petitioner.
But in the Notice of Appeal to the Supreme Court sighted by DAILY POST, Idoko, through his attorneys, C.I. Odo & Co, laid out three grounds of appeal, averring that the Court of Appeal erred in Law when it held that there was no breach of Section 285(8) and Section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).
He contended that the trial Court failed to deliver Judgement in the substantive suit pending before it after a full hearing.
Arguing on further grounds for the appeal, the lawyers stated that the lower courts failed to discharge the case expeditiously, being as it is, a pre-election matter.
“Pre-election cases are time-bound and all issues (Preliminary issues and the main issue) must be heard and determined once and for all at the Judgement stage. The trial Court breached the provisions of Section 285 (8) of 1999,” Idoko’s counsels stated in the notice of appeal.
They also reminded the Supreme Court that the lower courts also erred in law by affirming that the Appellant being an aspirant of another political party, lacked the locus standi to challenge the violation and breach of section 84(13) of the Electoral Act 2022 by the 1 Respondent (INEC).
On the third ground of appeal, the lawyers averred that the Court of Appeal erred in law when they awarded an excessive and punitive cost of N37,000,000.00 in favour of the 2nd – 38th Respondents against the Appellant, arguing that the judgment was in breach of Comrade Idoko’s “constitutional right of appeal and all known Laws.”
They, therefore, prayed the Supreme Court to allow the appeal and set aside the concurring Judgement of the two lower Courts on the issue of lack of locus standi of the Appellant, while also setting aside the order of the Appeal Court for the cost of N37,000,000.00 against the appellant.