AFederal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit by former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and the Incorporated Trustees of Rights for All International (RAI) against the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their presidential candidates.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/942/2022, Nwajiuba and RAI had sought among others, to void the primaries that produced Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar as candidates of the APC and PDP for the next presidential election. They also prayed the court to replace Tinubu with the ex-Minister, who said he participated in APC’s primary and scored zero vote.
Listed as defendants in the suit were the APC, PDP, Tinubu, Abubakar, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a judgment on Thursday, Justice Inyang Ekwo declined jurisdiction on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi (the legal capacity to have instituted the suit) to have filed the suit.
Justice Ekwo, who also described the suit as incompetent and proceeded to dismiss it, condemned the involvement of RAI, which claimed to be a non-government organisation, in politically motivated cases.
The judge held that, by its involvement in politically motivated cases and by extension, partisan politics, RAI went outside the objectives for which it was registered under Part F of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)) and taken steps inimical to public policy.
He added: “It is only in this country that an association registered for charitable purpose will venture into partisan politics with such audacious sense of impunity.
“At this time in the political journey of this country, politics and political activities must be left to those who are authorized by law to do so.
“This action by the first plaintiff (RAI) is an outrageous act and an aberration to all known principles of the law of associations. In short, it is the height of lawlessness and ought to be stopped forthwith.
“Associations registered under Part F of the CAMA 2020 must understand the limit of their operations under the law. Where they fail to do so, the legal sanctions will apply,” the judge said.
Justice Ekwo proceeded to dissolve RAI and ordered the CAC to take over the dissolved group and deal with it in accordance with the provisions of the law on dissolution of bodies registered pursuant to Part F of the CAMA 2022.