Okey Uzoho, a presidential candidate, has filed a lawsuit against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for allegedly denying him the right to run in the May 28 presidential primary.
Uzoho, a lawyer and a PDP card-carrying member, cited the high cost of the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms as the reason for his decision not to run for office.
According to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN), the party has set the price of expressions of interest and nomination forms for presidential candidates at N40 million.
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In an originating summons filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the lawyer named the PDP as the first defendant and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the second defendant.
The plaintiff claimed that the PDP’s action of requiring aspirants to meet a monetary condition was in violation of the 1999 Constitution and Sections 84(3) and (4) of the Electoral Act of 2022.
Uzoho stated that he was interested in running for President of Nigeria in the 2023 election as the party’s flag-bearer.
In an affidavit filed in support of the lawsuit, the lawyer expressed his disappointment at being denied the opportunity to pursue his goals.
He claimed that he was unable to submit a bank draught in the amount of N40 million, which was a requirement for obtaining the party’s presidential primary election expression of interest and nomination forms.
He told the court that he met all of the qualifications and requirements set forth by the 1999 Constitution and current laws for participation in the party’s presidential primary for the election in 2023.
Uzoho also stated that none of the disqualification criteria outlined in Section 137 of the 1999 Constitution applied to him.
He did, however, ask the court to “determine whether the PDP is entitled to impose or interpose as additional qualification/s the payment of N40million, as a further qualification to seek the party’s sponsorship for election to the office of President of Nigeria, having regard to Section 131 read together with Section 1(1) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution.”
The plaintiff sought N50 million in damages for the stress, inconvenience, and loss of valuable campaign time caused by his rejection from the presidential primary.
He also asked for a permanent injunction barring the defendants from barring him from the presidential primary.
He also requested an injunction requiring the PDP to provide him with all necessary facilities in order for him to compete in the party’s presidential primary election.
The lawsuit’s hearing has yet to be scheduled.