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APC Mobilises SAN, Over 30 Senior Lawyers for Legal Battle Against INEC Over Registration

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, April 09, (THEWILL) - The African Peoples Congress (APC) has mobilised a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and over 30 other senior lawyers in a legal battle against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the rejection of its registration application by the electoral body.

The APC, whose legal team is spearheaded by a renowned SAN and constitutional lawyer, Mr. Awa Kalu, and supported by over 30 senior lawyers drawn from the group, Lawyers in Defence of Democracy, Tuesday, filed a suit, No FHC/ABJ/CS/224/2013 , against INEC at the Federal High Court, Abuja to enforce its constitutional rights to be registered as a political party.

The APC, through the suit, is seeking a judicial review of the decision of INEC to deny it registration based on grounds the group said it considered “inconsistent with the provisions of the law.”

APC is also seeking a court order that by virtue of the commencement of the judicial review process as required by Section 79 of the Electoral Act, nobody or group of association seeking registration or merger as a political party shall be assigned or allowed to parade or seek to register any political party bearing same logo, acronym as that of the APC, maintaining that APC application is still valid until the Supreme Court finally rules otherwise.

A statement of notice issued by the legal directorate of APC on Tuesday read: “It is our pleasure to inform you that the leadership of the African People’s Congress (APC) has formally filed action in the court of law seeking judicial review of the decision of INEC to deny the APC registration, based on grounds we view as inconsistent with the provisions of the law.

“This arrangement, which is already in motion, marks the beginning of the process to redeem critical flaws in our electoral process and reclaim our democracy from political wolves, self-styled progressives and anti-democratic elements that have little or no respect for the right of expression of other Nigerians, most of whom they view perhaps, as ‘lesser Nigerians’.

“INEC and the ACN-led merger clique, who have shown complicit involvement in the desperate attempt to stampede and stifle our right-of-association and aspiration to register a political party via a legitimate process; have unwittingly laid bare what they truly represent.

“”Unfortunately however, they have so clearly misjudged the content of our character and expectedly so, with such self-sided ambition that blinds objectivity.

“All the same, through this judicial process initiated today at the Federal High Court, Abuja in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/224/2013, they will again have the opportunity to learn first-hand, the strength of our resolve as a group.

“Beyond this, we are fierce believers in the rule of law and due process and wish to reassure our teeming members and supporters that our certificate of registration is within view and just a ‘taking distance away’.

“There is no iota of doubt that the court of law will adequately redress the injustice meted out on the African People’s Congress and will in clear terms inform those Lagos politicians that have over time nurtured an exaggerated opinion of their worth and importance in the Nigerian political space, that they are not more Nigerian than other Nigerians!

“It is believed that in the coming weeks, the date of first hearing shall be conveyed to all concerned and Nigerians would be witnesses to this critical judicial process.

“Like you all know, our legal team is spearheaded by a renowned Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and constitutional lawyer, Mr. Awa Kalu and supported by over thirty senior lawyers drawn from the group, Lawyers in Defence of Democracy and our in-house legal department.

“Let this serve as another Notice to INEC, that by virtue of the commencement of this judicial review process as required by Section 79 of the Electoral Act, that nobody or group of association seeking registration or merger as a political party shall be assigned or allowed to parade or seek to register any political party bearing same logo, acronym as ours. The APC application is still valid until the Supreme Court finally rules otherwise. We shall remain vigilant in the coming days to watch and firmly defend our legal name and acronym which are currently a subject of judicial review before the Federal High Court.

“We are therefore confident that having brought this matter to the Temple of Justice; not underestimating the ‘long reach’ of the Lagos merger group though, we hopefully shall get fair hearing and ruling, untainted by ‘Lagos’, such that at the end of the day, justice would have been adequately served.”