A High Court sitting in Ilorin has declared former Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Kwara State Branch, Barrister Issa Manzuma as the gubernatorial candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the Kwara State.
In its consent judgement, the court held that all the reliefs sought by the Claimant, Barrister Manzuma were granted.
According to the court, “pursuant to the agreement between the Claimant and the Defendants it is hereby agreed that a consent judgment be entered in favour of the Claimant in respect of all the reliefs claimed in the Originating Process”.
The Claimant, Barrister Manzuma had filled a suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), his party, ADC and One Mr. Ayo Joel to challenge his exclusion from the list of Kwara State Gubernatorial candidates in the 2023 general election.
According to the Manzuma, Mr. Ayo Joel whose nomination was accepted by INEC was not validly nominated and presented as a candidate of the ADC, having not participated in the primaries of the party conducted on 4th June, 2022 and 6 August 2022 at the party’s Secretariat, opposite Latara Event Centre, Ajase-Ipo Road, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Manzuma contended that his name was supposed to be forwarded to INEC by his party, having been elected unopposed at the primary of the party, monitored by INEC on 6 August 2022.
He added that the signing of INEC Nomination Form (EC9) by Mr Ayo Joel as Gubernatorial Candidate of ADC in Kwara State and subsequent submission of same to INEC violated the provision of Section 115(1) (K) of the Electoral Act 2022 and that the Defendant is liable for prosecution under the same law.
He, however, sought for a declaration that the Defendant was not validly nominated as a Gubernatorial Candidate of the party for the 2023 Kwara State Governorship Election and that INEC was wrong to have accepted his nomination as a candidate for Kwara State 2023 Gubernatorial Election.
He prayed for an order of mandatory injunction directing the INEC to remove from its list of nominated or sponsored candidates eligible to contest election in the election scheduled for 11th March, 2023 for the office of Governor of Kwara State or any other list, ballot paper or elections records or materials bearing the name of Mr. Ayo Joel as the sponsored candidate submitted by his party to INEC to contest election for the office of the Governor of Kwara State.
Also, an order of the court declaring him as the duly nominated candidate of ADC for the 2023 Governorship election in Kwara State having been duly elected unopposed at the primary election held on 6 August, 2022 at the State Secretariat and is entitled to be recognized by the INEC as the only candidate of the party for the 2023 Kwara State Governorship Election.