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Edo 2024: Imansuangbon Seeks Disqualification Of Akpata As LP Candidate

A governorship aspirant of the Labour Party (LP) in Edo State, Barr. Kenneth Imansuangbon, has asked the court to disqualify the governorship candidate of the party, Olumide Akpata, from the September 21 governorship election in the State.

In a Suit No. FHC B/CS/26/2024 and filed at the Benin City Division of the Federal High Court by his counsel, A.A. Malik & Co, Imansuangbon said that LP, which is the second Respondent in the suit, erred by declaring Akpata as the winner of the party’s governorship primary election conducted on February 23, 2024.

This is also as the aspirant filed another suit in the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court where he alleged that Akpata and his running mate, lied under oath and supplied false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In the suit filed on April 12, 2024, Akpata, who is the first Respondent, was joined with his running mate, Alufohai Faith, LP and INEC, as the second, third and fourth Respondents, respectively.

Imansuangbon said Akpata was not qualified to have contested the LP primary election having violated the provisions of Section 222(c) of the Nigerian Constitution as well as Article 28 of the party’s guidelines for the conduct of the primary.

Imansuangbon further averred that votes garnered by the first Respondent in the primary election be declared invalid and wasted.

The plaintiff, who listed nine issues for determination and 18 others for declaration by the court, asked the court to set aside the LP’s February 23 governorship primary election in the Edo State.

He also asked the court to determine if Akpata is qualified to have contested the primary election having failed to sign or endorse the indemnity form issued to him by the second Respondent (INEC).

He also asked the court to determine if the votes garnered in the said primary election should not be voided and wasted in the face of outright disregard to the constitutional provisions of the country and that of the party.

Similarly, Imansuangbon asked the court to determine if he that scored the second highest votes in the said primary election should not be declared the winner and validly nominated to be the governorship candidate of the LP for the Edo State governorship election.

Alternatively, the court was asked to determine if the party conducted the February 23 governorship primary in a manner outlined, prescribed or otherwise circumscribed by Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

That the court should also determine if the primary election did not run foul of the provisions of Section 84(2), (3), (4) & (5) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

In his declaration, the plaintiff further told the court to bar INEC or any other agent, from recognising Akpata as the governorship candidate of the LP for the September 21 Edo State governorship poll.

He also called for the withdrawal of the certificate of return issued by the second defendant to the first defendant as the purported winner of the said primary election exercise.

While asking for the sum of N20 million as cost of the suit, Imansuangbon asked that a fresh primary should be conducted not later than 30 days of the judgement of the court.

However, in the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, Imansuangbon alleged that Akpata supplied false information to the INEC according to information provided in their form EC9.

He said Akpata claimed to have been Akpata Olumide Anthony but filled his name to be Akpata Olumide Osaigbovo.

Similarly, his running mate, who said that she was born in 1981, claimed to have obtained her First School Leaving Certificate same year she was born.

She was also alleged have gotten three certificates, OND, HND and PGD in the same year in 2005.

According to Imansuangbon, their actions contravened the provisions of section 29(5) of the 2022 electoral Act and also section 182(i),(a) &(j) of the 1999 constitution of the federal government of Nigeria as amended.

He, therefore, sought for their disqualification from participating in the September 21 governorship election in Edo State.

Imansuangbon’s suit in Abuja was accompanied with affidavits in support of the originating summon.

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