A Federal Capital Territory high court sitting in Jabi Abuja has ordered an accelerated hearing in a suit filed by the African Action Congress (AAC) and its presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, against the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG), Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) and Mr. John Momoh, the Chairman of BON.
The suit is challenging their exclusion from the presidential election debate organized by the respondents.
The court order was made known yesterday in a statement issued by Sowore 2019 Campaign Director in charge of Media and Communications, Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi, in Abuja.
Recall that in December 2018, NEDG/BON shortlisted only five political parties and their candidates for the presidential election debate viz: Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Oby Ezekwesili; Alliance for New Nigeria, Fela Durotoye; All Progressives Congress, President Muhammadu Buhari; Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar; and Young Progressives Party, Kingsley Moghalu.
However, the statement read in part: “Sitting in Court 14 of the FCT High Court, Jabi, on Monday, 31st December, 2018, Hon. Justice D. Z. Senchi listened to a motion ex parte for interim injunction to restrain the defendants from organizing or holding the January 19, 2019 presidential election debate without including the AAC among the political parties selected to participate in the debate.
“After listening to submissions made by the National Legal Adviser of the AAC, Mr. Inibehe Effiong, the court ruled that the urgency of the case warranted an accelerated hearing of the suit to allow all parties in the suit to state their cases before a decision could be made.
“He therefore adjourned the case to the 8th of January, 2019 for hearing and also ordered that all processes in the suit must be filed before the next adjourned date and that no application for extension of time will be entertained by the Court.”
Representing the African Action Congress in court were the party’s National Legal Adviser, Inibehe Effiong; his co-counsel, Mr. Seprebofa Oyeghe; AAC Deputy National Secretary, Dr. Joshua Adeoye; AAC National Organizing Secretary, Mr. Philip Oshiokhue and other members of the party.