A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Anike Nwoga, has asked the Federal High Court Enugu, to stop the National Assembly from changing the sequence of the 2019 elections. The lawmakers had passed a bill which changed the sequence earlier adopted and published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Nwoga, the Zonal Vice Chairman of APC in Enugu East senatorial district, filed the suit on Friday, March 2, 2018 through his lawyer, Godwin Onwusi Esq. In a motion on notice, supported by 25-paragraph affidavit, he is praying the court for an interlocutory injunction, restraining the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from assenting to the bill passed by the National Assembly, changing the sequence of the 2019 elections, when it is presented to him for assent, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The motion on notice was brought pursuant to orders 26 and 28 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the Honourable court, Aside the National Assembly, which was listed as the 1stdefendant/respondent, others listed as 2nd to 4th defendants/respondents in the suit numbered: FHC/EN/CS/28/2018 and commenced through an originating summons, are INEC, the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Honourable Attorney General of the Federaion (AGF).
Apart from the prayer for interlocutory injunction restraining the President, 3rddefendant, from assenting to the bill re-ordering the election sequence, Nwoga is also praying for an order of interlocutory injunction, restraining the NASS, 1st defendant, from overriding the President’s veto, should he decide to veto the bill, reordering the sequence of the elections, pending the determination of the substantive suit. The plaintiff equally asked for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining INEC, 2nddefendant, from complying with the sequence of elections contained in the bill passed by the National Assembly and for such further orders as the court may deem fit to make in the circumstance, pending the deterrmination of the substantive suit.
Specifically, the plaintiff, Nwoga, is asking the court to among other things determine “Whether the National Assembly in exercise of its lawmaking powers can make laws to compel INEC to exercise the powers to organize, undertake and supervise elections conferred on it by the constitution in a particular sequence.” “Whether the National Assembly in exercise of her law making powers can make a law to change the sequence of elections, already adopted and published by INEC, pursuant to the powers conferred on it by the constitution.”
Upon the determination of the questions, the plaintiff urged the court to make the following orders.
“A declaration that the National Assembly cannot make laws to compel Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to exercise the powers conferred on it by the constitution to conduct election in a particular order. “A declaration that the recent bill adopted by the two chambers of the National Assembly, which altered the sequence of the 2019 elections, already adopted and published by INEC pursuant to the powers conferred on it by the constitution, is a usurpation of the constitutional powers of INEC, hence unconstitutional.