Photo: Plateau PDP
The Plateau State local government election scheduled for October has been put in a quandary as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has headed to court seeking a restraining order against the Plateau State Independent Electorial Commission (PLASIEC) from conducting the election.
The PDP’s suit which is filed at the Plateau State High Court, through its lawyer, Edward Pwajok (SAN) is challenging the decision of PLASIEC to exclude the members of the party from participating in the forthcoming elections, among others and stop the election pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
The case which is being handled by vacation Judge, Justice Ishaku Kunda, has been adjourned till 5th August, 2021 for hearing on the originating summons and the preliminary objection, and is scheduled for accelerated hearing.
Pwajok in his submission before the court argues that his client is in court to challenge PLASIEC for organizing election for the position of local government chairmen and councilors in Plateau State and excluding PDP from participating in the election.
The PDP counsel describes the action of the electoral umpire as grossly wrong, undemocratic and a ploy to deny some people in Plateau State their fundamental human rights to choose who their leader would be, at the third tier of government.
According him, it is unconstitutional, illegal , and in fact, a violation of all the international norms that encourage voters to participate freely in the democratic choice of deciding on who should lead them either as a chairman or councilor.
He further submits that the action of the electorial umpire has no precedent in law, arguing that PLASIEC’s is not backed by any law which gives it the power to exclude any candidate.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) describes the action of PLASIEC as a poorly conceived attempt to endorse all the candidates from the ruling APC, which he said should not be allowed to prevail in odemocracy.
PLASIEC is represented in the suit by Chief Garba Pwul (SAN).