Anike Nwoga, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has approached a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu to challenge the bill passed by the National Assembly, which changed the sequence of the 2019 elections, earlier published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The previous timetable released and published by INEC had stated that the election would start with the election of the President and members of the National Assembly, followed by governorship and state assembly elections but the National Assembly changed the timetable, placing the National Assembly election first, to be followed by the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections, while the presidential election will come last.
Nwoga, who is 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 his motion on notice, supported by 25-paragraph affidavit, Nwoga 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 plaintiff, Nwoga, is specifically 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 reliefs: “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.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 3rd defendant from assenting to the bill changing the sequence of elections, already adopted and published by the 2nd defendant, when it is presented to him for assent. “An order restraining the 2nd defendant from complying with the sequence contained in the bill or the Law, if assented to by the 2nd respondent. “Any further or other orders or consequential Orders that the Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of the case.