Abuja lawyer sues INEC over alleged refusal to prosecute Oshiomhole



An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Abdulazeez Tijani Ahmed, has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, before a Federal High Court in Abuja over its alleged refusal to put a former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on trial for electoral offences.

The lawyer wants the electoral body to prosecute the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the alleged offence of double nominations during the last primary elections of the APC.

In his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/2178/22, Ahmed is praying for an order of mandamus against INEC, compelling it to initiate an investigation and prosecution of Oshiomhole for willfully violating Section 115 of the Electoral Act 2022.

The legal practitioner sought an order from the court to compel the electoral body to invoke Section 145 of the electoral act in putting the Edo senator-elect on criminal trial.

Ahmed claimed that under Section 145 of the electoral act, INEC had a mandatory legal duty to initiate criminal prosecution of anybody who willfully breached Section 115 of the act, as alleged against the former Edo State governor.

In a three-paragraph affidavit in support 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 afoul of the law by obtaining and signing more than one form as an aspirant for senatorial and presidential primary elections.

He claimed to have written INEC on July 30, 2022, drawing the attention of INEC with evidence of the alleged offences, but that the electoral body, despite receipt of the letter, refused and neglected to act on his demand.

In the affidavit deposed to by one Rose Bitrus, a litigation clerk, the lawyer 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 the notice was attached with several exhibits on how the former national chairman of the APC reportedly signed the two nomination forms in the same primary elections.

Meanwhile, the suit has been fixed for hearing on September 28 before Justice Mobolaji Olajunwon