In response to its failure to deliver Certified True Copies (CTCs) of papers pertaining to the All Progressives Congres (APC) candidate Bola Tinubu’s presidential candidacy, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been sued.
In a lawsuit with the case number FHC/ABJ/CS/1337/2022, an attorney from Abuja named Mike Enahoro-Ebah accused the electoral commission of withholding Tinubu’s credentials.
According to Anaedoonline.ng, the Commission is the only defendant named in the lawsuit.
The attorney is also requesting a court order directing INEC to make Tinubu’s nomination papers from the 1999 and 2003 Lagos governorship elections available to the public.
He is also seeking an order granting him leave to apply for judicial review of an order of mandamus directing or compelling INEC to furnish him with the CTCs of the “nomination forms for governor and affidavits in support of personal particulars and all other documents attached thereto, submitted to the respondent by and on behalf of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the 1999 and 2003 Governorship Elections in Lagos State”.
Additionally, the applicant is requesting that the court order INEC to give him the CTCs of the “Nomination Forms EC13A, EC 9, affidavits and any other papers filed to the respondent (INEC) by and on behalf of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the 2023 Presidential Election in Nigeria”.
The attorney said that he had requested the papers through two separate letters to INEC, dated July 13 and July 22, in accordance with sections 1(1) and (3), 2(6), and 7(4) of the Freedom of Information Act of 2011, as well as section 1 and 29(4) of the Electoral Act of 2022.
He claimed that the basis for the request for Tinubu’s credentials was the claim that because INEC is in possession of them, they have become public records and he is entitled to access them in accordance with Section 29(4) of the Electoral Act of 2022 and Section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act of 2011.
The suit reads: “The mandatory statutory duration of 14 (fourteen) days within which the respondent is to issue CTCs of the requested public documents in its custody and possession, according to Section 29 (4) of the Electoral Act, 2022, has lapsed, therefore, the respondent is deemed to have refused to accede to applicant’s request/application.
“The right of access to public documents in custody and possession of the respondent is inclusive of the right to institute civil proceedings in court to compel the respondent to issue same documents to anyone who applies for same, as established in Section 29 (4) of the Electoral Act, 2022, and Section 1 (3), Section 2 (6) and Section 7 (4) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
“The public documents sought from the respondent are connected one way or another to the election and the sui generis nature of it means time is of the essence.”
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