Court restrains LAISEC from conducting local council polls in Lagos without YP
A federal high court in Lagos has restrained the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission(LAISEC )from holding the Lagos state local govt elections without YP on the ballot.
In a Suit numbered. FHC/L/CS/625, Justice Akintayo Aluko, granted the order of injunction in a case filed by the Youth Party and argued by Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, S.A.N.
The Court ruled that: ‘INEC and LASIEC are restrained whether by themselves, their agents, privies, employees, officers, or anyone whosoever acting for them and on their behalf from conducting the forthcoming Lagos State Local Government elections scheduled for 24th July 2021 or any other elections whatsoever to the exclusion of the Applicant pending the determination of the Interlocutory Application, which has now been adjourned to Monday 19th July 2020.’
The implication of this ruling is that any election conducted with the exclusion of the Youth Party would be illegal.
The Court’s decision is in line with the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja delivered by Justice I.E. Ekwo that declared the purported de-registration of the Party illegal, null, and void.
Also, the Court of Appeal, Abuja, affirmed the decision of the lower Court and “found the action of INEC very reprehensive.”
The judgment at the lower Court was consequent to INEC’s failing to register the Party and preventing it from participating in elections.
The Electoral umpire failed to register the Party after it got a judgment against it in FHC/ABJ/CS/221/2017 between Chukwudi Adiukwu & Ors V. INEC delivered on 18th October 2017 until 14th August 2018, less than five days to the commencement of Party primaries in 2018.
The Party Chairman while reacting to the ruling, said “INEC is currently refusing to list the Party on its website as a registered Party or allow it to participate in any election even in the face of an Appeal Court judgment, which had not been set aside or stayed.”
“The ruling of the Federal High Court has put paid to the shameless resort to self-help, orchestrated by the collaborative efforts of INEC and LASIEC to stop the Youth Party’s commitment to the expansion of the democratic space, political ascendancy, and its bid to prevent the rot in the political space. Once again, we thank the Nigerian Judiciary for giving us hope that the rule of law is still sacrosanct and the judiciary is the hope of our democracy.” he concluded.
The Lagos Council Election is fixed for 24th July 2021.