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2023: Presidential Aspirant Drags PDP To Court

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Okey Uzoho, a presidential hopeful, has instituted a legal action against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Uzoho said he is suing the party for allegedly denying him the opportunity to contest in the party’s May 28 presidential primary due to the high cost of the expression of interest and nomination forms for presidential hopefuls.

The PDP had fixed N40 million for its expression of interest and nomination forms for presidential aspirants.

In a suit marked FCT/CV/144/2022 and filed at the federal capital territory (FCT) high court, Uzoho listed the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as first and second defendants, respectively.

The plaintiff argued that the action of the PDP in setting a monetary condition as additional qualification for aspirants negates the provision of the 1999 constitution and section 84(3) and (4) of the Electoral Act 2022.

In an affidavit to support the suit, the lawyer said it was sad that he will be denied the opportunity of participating in the presidential primary on the grounds that he could not submit a bank draft in the sum of N40 million, which is a condition for acquiring the forms.

Adding that aside from the form fee, he met all the requirements of the 1999 constitution and extant laws for participation in the presidential primary of the party for the 2023 election.

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In his suit, he wants the court to determine “whether having regard to section 131 read along with Section 1(1) and (3) of the 1999 constitution, the PDP is entitled to impose or interpose as additional qualification/s the payment of N40 million, as further qualification to seek the party’s sponsorship for election to the office of president of Nigeria”.

The plaintiff is seeking N50 million as compensation for the “anxiety, inconvenience, and loss of valuable campaign time” over his inability to participate in the presidential primary.

Uzoho is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from excluding him from the presidential primary, as well as an order of injunction compelling the PDP to ensure his participation in the primary.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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