By Wahab Abdulah
A Federal High Court in Abuja has been urged to determine whether or not the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has the constitutional power to interfere in the running of affairs of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, under relevant laws.
In an originating summons filed weekend, the Vice Chairman, Executive Committee of Delta State PDP, Kenneth Edom, and five other members of the Committee, further urged the court to determine whether or not INEC was statutorily empowered not to accept decision and action of the executive committee of PDP in Delta State regarding the 2011 general elections.
If the answers are in the negative, the plaintiffs, through their counsel, Mr Edwin Anikwem, consequently asked the court to declare that INEC had no statutory power to interfere in the internal administration of PDP, enforce the party’s constitution, as well as refuse and or neglect to recognise and/or accept the decision of the party, particularly as it affects Delta State Executive Committee of PDP.
The plaintiffs further asked the court to declare as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void, a letter by INEC to the PDP expressing unwillingness to accept the decision of Delta State Executive Committee of the party concerning the 2011 general elections.
Anikwem further urged the court to grant an order of perpetual injuction to restrain INEC from interfering in the internal affairs of PDP, particularly the Delta State Executive Committee.
He also urged the Court to restrain the PDP and its agents from giving effect to the letter by INEC dated September 27, 2010.
In a 22_paragraph affidavit in support of the summons, one of the plaintiffs, Andrew Igban averred that they were surprised when INEC wrote a letter to the National Chairman of PDP alleging that the Delta State Executive Committee of the party were illegally constituted.
According to the deponent, INEC further expressed unwillingness in the letter to continue to accept the decision of the Delta State Executive Committee of PDP particularly on any matter relating to the 2011 general elections.
The plaintiffs claimed that they were elected into office in 2008 and had been acting in that capacity without any complain from members in Delta State adding that they had equally been relating cordially with the national executive of the PDP.
Believing that INEC had no authority to interfere in the internal running of the party, the plaintiffs stated that the defendant if not restrained,would give effect to the content of letter by INEC thereby violating the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as those of the Electoral Act.