The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken Governor Ayodele Fayose and State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) to court over composition of the electoral body.
In a suit filed by its counsel, Abiodun Fasakin and Tajudeen Akingbolu, the party said the composition of the electoral body contradicted the constitutional requirement for a non-partisan electoral body that could organise credible elections that would be acceptable to all contesting parties.
The party alleged that members of the electoral body as constituted by the governor is composed of card-carrying members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), noting that such action was illegal and invitation to chaos inherent in the electoral umpire providing support for a contesting party to the detriment of other parties.
Olatunbosun noted that while APC is ready to participate in the Local Government Elections, due process must be followed in the composition of the State Electoral body.
The APC is not comfortable with membership of the commission most of who apart from being PDP card carrying members, are friends and business associates of Governor Fayose, Olatunbosun noted.
Listed as PDP members in the electoral body are Justice Kayode Bamisile (rtd), who is the chairman.
Others are Victoria Olufunke Adeyera, Ganiyu Bello, Mojisola Florence Bankole, Rufus Sunday Olaiya and Olajide Vincent Adeyeye.
Other defendants include the Attorney General of the state and Commissioner for Justice and the House of Assembly.
In the originating summons before the State High Court, Ado-Ekiti, the defendants are to appear before the court within seven days after service of the summons on them.
To be determined by the court is: whether by the combined effect of Sections 197, 199 (1)(c) and 200 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999 (as amended) the purported appointment of the 5th to 10th Defendants as Chairman and members of the 3rd Defendant is not null, void, illegal and unconstitutional; whether by virtue of Sections 14(4) and 197(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) the constitution and composition of the 3rd defendant is not null, void, illegal and unconstitutional; whether having regard to questions one and two above and the circumstances of the appointment of the 5th to 10th defendants, the 4th defendant’s confirmation of the appointment of the 5th to 10th defendants is not invalid; whether having regard to the hitherto composition of the 3rd defendant as made in 2011, which tenure is still deemed subsisting pursuant to Section 199 (1)(c) of the CFRN 1999 (As Amended), the appointment and confirmation of appointment of the 5th to 10th defendants by the 1st and 4th defendants, is not invalid; whether a member of a registered political party, which party is having interest in a pending election to local councils, is eligible to be appointed as member(s) and/or chairman of the 3rd defendant for the purpose of conducting local councils’ elections in Ekiti State; and,
whether the 1st and 4th defendants can appoint and/or confirm the appointment of the 5th to 10th defendants thereby reconstituting the 3rd defendant during the pendency of a matter involving the 3rd defendant before the Supreme Court in APPEAL NO: SC.695/2013: PDP & ANOR VS EKSIEC & 8 Ors.
In its statement of claims, APC wants a declaration that the appointment of the 5th to 10th defendants as Chairman and/or members of the 3rd defendant is null, void, illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the provisions of Sections 197, 199 (1) (c) and 200 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
It also wants a declaration that the 3rd defendant as presently constituted by the 1st defendant with the 5th to 10th defendants as Chairman and members, is not vested with legal capacity to conduct elections into the various elective offices/positions in the 16 local councils in Ekiti State.
The party further seeks a declaration that the tenure of the hitherto members of the 3rd defendant as constituted in 2011 having not expired, their dissolution by the 1st defendant coupled with the appointment of the 5th to 10th defendants is null, void and unconstitutional.
Conclusively, APC is seeking an order setting aside all steps and/or actions taken by the 1st, 2nd and 4th defendants in the purported appointment and /or confirmation of the appointment of the 5th to 10th defendants.
It also seeks order setting aside all steps and/or actions taken by the 5th to 10th defendants purportedly as Chairman and/or members of the 3rd defendant, ostensibly for and towards the conduct of elections into the various elective offices in the 16 local councils in Ekiti State and an injunction restraining the 5th to 10th defendants, their agents, servants, officers, whosoever/howsoever taking instructions from them, from conducting elections into any of the elective offices/positions in the 16 local councils in Ekiti State and/or from taking any further steps or embarking on any further activities ostensibly for the conduct of the aforesaid local councils’ elections, under the guise of acting as the chairman and/or members of the 3rd defendant, forthwith.