- An APC governorship aspirant in Delta, Sunny Ofehe, has sued the party and its national chairman over the high cost of nomination and expression of interest forms
- Ofehe described the sum of N22.5m imposed by the APC on governorship aspirants as unreasonable, huge, excessive and prohibitive
- He informed the court that it would be in the interest of justice to hear the matter expeditiously
A suit has been filed before the high court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja, by an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant, Chief Sunny Ofehe, seeking for an order perpetually restraining the party from continuing with the sale of nomination and expression of interest forms at exorbitant fees.
Ofehe filed the suit marked CV/2717/18, challenging the “imposition” of the fees on aspirants and sought an order of the court directing the party to revert to the old regime of fees, on Wednesday, September 12, Punch reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that Ofehe, who is contesting for the party’s gubernatorial ticket for Delta state, joined the ruling party and its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, as the first and second defendants, respectively.
In the suit, the plaintiff described the sum of N22.5m imposed by the APC on governorship aspirants as “unreasonable, huge, excessive and prohibitive.”
According to Ofehe, “the increase of the fees of the expression of interest and nomination forms from original N500,000 and N5m to N2.5m and N20m, respectively” was “oppressive”.
He also filed an ex parte application seeking an order of interim injunction restraining the APC and Oshiomhole from “implementing, collecting or further collecting” the sum of N22.5m as the fees for nomination and expression of interest forms for the governorship position.
Ofehe also sought another order of interim injunction “stopping aspirants for the scheduled APC party primaries in Delta state from returning or further returning the collected nomination and expression of interest forms.”
The plaintiff further asked the court to restrain the defendants from further receiving “the already collected forms from governorship aspirants in Delta state.”
He informed the court that “it would be in the interest of justice to hear the matter expeditiously because the return of the forms has been fixed for Wednesday, September 12, 2018.”
If the case is not heard urgently, Ofehe, who pointed out that he had “printed posters, consulted widely, recruited ad hoc and permanent staff, engaged agents, provided administrative and campaign offices across the state”, said he would be foreclosed from participating in the process.
Filing the suit on behalf of his client, the plaintiff’s lead counsel, Malachy Ugwummadu, asked the court to declare, among others, “that the imposition of the excessive sum of N22, 500,000 as fees for expression of interest and nomination forms for governorship position in the primaries of the 1st defendant (APC) is oppressive, discriminatory, exclusionary, illegal, unconstitutional and therefore, null and void.”
He also asked the court to declare “that the trend and practice of imposition of huge, prohibitive and excessive charges and fees on political office aspirants including the plaintiff is the provenance of corruption in Nigerian politics.”
The case has not yet been assigned to any judge for hearing.
In a similar development, NAIJ.com previously reported that Christmas Akpodiete, an APC presidential aspirant, sued the ruling party, the attorney general of the federation (AGF), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and other registered political parties over the cost of nomination forms for the 2019 general election.
Akpodiete demanded that the court should restrain the APC and the PDP from going on with their primaries, adding that such polls must be nullified, if the parties move ahead with them.
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