Emmanuel Ifeanyi, Aba
Hon. Justice Agwu Umah Kalu of Abia State High Court, Aba Judicial Division has given an interim injunction restraining the Abia State Independent Election Commission (ABSIEC) from conducting the local government election in the state scheduled for December 18, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
New Telegraph learnt that the Abia State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had dragged ABSIEC to court on issues the party said is against rights of its candidates and prayed the court to stop the electoral body from taking further actions that will limit the chances of their candidates in the election.
Upon reading the motion ex-parte filed on November 26 brought in pursuant to Order 39 Rules (1) and (3) and Order Rule of the High Court Civil Procedure, the Affidavit in support of the motion and after hearing Barr. Perfect Okorie for the APC, Justice Kalu in his ruling, ordered for interim injunction restraining ABSIEC from taking any other step in the conducting of the election pending the determination of the motion on notice.
Reacting to the order, APC Publicity Secretary in Abia State, Comrade Benedict Godson said that the order has proven that the days of lawlessness in Abia political landscape are over and urged ABSIEC that it must play according to rules.
Godson said that his party decided approach the court when it was obvious that ABSIEC was determined to extort candidates and ruin their chances of winning any election.
“Let nobody get it twisted, the All Progressives Congress, Abia State Chapter is not afraid of participating in local government elections, but we cannot watch our members enter into a contest that’s already faulty from the beginning.
“Things must be done in a lawful manner. If we follow the law and not bend it, Abia will be a better place. What we should rather be asking ourselves now is why are some persons trying to bend the law if they know they’re capable of winning in a level playing ground?
“In an election already budgeted for, ABSIEC decided to turn itself into a revenue generation agency for whoever by making obnoxious monetary demands from candidates. We complained, but they thought it’s business as usual.
“How can an electoral body already funded be demanding N480,000 from all Chairmanship candidates and N145,000 from all Councillorship candidates? They think everybody is stupid and daft in Abia. What’s the money for when they’re already funded in the state’s budget?
“Aside the dubious monetary demands, ABSIEC decided to act as a screening body for candidates. They took up the screening right of the political parties who ought to screen and send a candidate list to them as if it’s now their right to do so,” he said.
New Telegraph reports that aside the court restraining ABSIEC from conducting the LG elections pending the determination of the motion on notice, it equally restrained ABSIEC from demanding or continuing to demand money from Chairmanship and Councillorship Candidates for forms pending the determination of the motion on notice.