Court Didn’t Order YDP’s Inclusion In Polls, Judgment Reveals

Contrary to the claim by the officials of the new Young Democratic Party that the Federal High Court in Abuja, had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to allow it to participate in the forthcoming polls, a copy of the court’s enrolled order obtained on Wednesday showed that the court did not make such order.

The party had on the strength of the alleged court’s pronouncement scheduled its primaries for March 26 and 27, ahead of the general elections which are to hold on March 28 and April 11.

But Justice Ahmed Mohammed in the judgment delivered on March 4, 2015, only among three other orders, ordered the INEC to issue certificate of registration to the party.

The judge held that YDP was deemed registered as a political party by the virtue of the failure of INEC to communicate its decision not to register the then political association as a political party within 30 days of receiving its (the plaintiff’s) application, as stipulated in section 78 (4) of the Electoral Act.

A copy of the court’s judgment also obtained on Wednesday showed that the plaintiff – the YDP – did not ask for inclusion in the polls in its amended originating summons dated December 2, 2014.

The court however did not ask INEC to allow the party to field candidates in the forthcoming polls.

The court only made four specific orders in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/ZRF/2014, as follows, “It is hereby declared that the defendant (INEC) has no reason whatsoever to refuse to issue the plaintiff with its certificate of registration, being that the plaintiff (YDP) was deemed registered as a political party by virtue of the provisions of the Electoral Act, particularly Section 78(4), and also considering the letter of submission of application dated March 17, 2014.

“It is hereby declared that the defendant has no reason whatsoever to refuse to issue the plaintiff with its certificate of registration, being that the plaintiff was deemed registered as a political party by virtue of the provisions of the Electoral Act, particularly Section 78(4), and also considering the letter from the defendant to the plaintiff, dated August 13, 2014 titled: Re: Application for Registration as political party.

“An order is also made directing the defendant to issue the plaintiff with its certificate of registration.

“Parties are to bear their own cost.”

When contacted for his reaction one of the lawyers of the party and also an official of the party, Mr. Ugo Nwofor, said he would call back.

As of the time of filing the report at about 8.24pm on Wednesday, Nwofor had yet to call back or reply to our correspondent’s text message enquiry.

Meanwhile, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Sebastine Hon, has described the party’s demand for inclusion in the forthcoming polls as baseless and untenable.

Hon advised the YDP to prepare for the 2019 general elections because it was no longer practicable for INEC to include it in this year’s elections.

 

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