New Telegraph

December 3, 2023

Electoral offences: Lawyer sues INEC for refusing to prosecute Oshiomhole

An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Abdulazeez Tijani Ahmed, has dragged the Independent Nation- al Electoral Commission (INEC) before a Federal High Court in Abuja over al- leged refusal to prosecute a former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, for electoral offences. The lawyer wants the electoral body to prosecute the former Nation- al Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the alleged offences of double nominations during the last primary elections of the APC. In his suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/2178/22, the lawyer is praying for an order of mandamus against INEC compelling it to initiate investigation and prosecution of Oshiomhole for wilfully violating Section 115 of the Electoral Act 2022. The lawyer also sought an order of the court to compel the electoral body to invoke Section 145 of the same Electoral Act in putting the Edo Senator-elect on criminal trial. In the suit, Ahmed claimed that under Section 145 of the Electoral Act, INEC had mandatory legal duty to initiate criminal prosecution of anybody who wilfully breach Section 115 of the Act as allegedly done by the former Edo State Governor.

In a 3- paragraph affidavit in sup- port of the motion on notice brought pursuant to Order 34 Rule 1 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure, Oshiomhole was alleged to have run foul of the law by obtaining and signing more than one from as an aspirant for senatorial and presidential primary elections. The plaintiff claimed to have written the INEC on July 30, 2022 drawing its attention with evidence to the alleged offences, but that the electoral body despite the receipt of the letter refused and neglected to act on his demand. The lawyer, in the affidavit de- posed to by one, Rose Bitrus, a litigation Clerk, promised to undertake the prosecution of Adams Oshiomhole on behalf of INEC once the order of mandamus is granted and complied with by the electoral body. The motion on notice is attached with several exhibits on how the former National Chairman of the APC reportedly signed the two nomina- tion forms in the same primary elec- tions. Meanwhile, the suit has been fixed for hearing on September 28 before Justice Mobolaji Olajunwon.

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