A People’s rights activist and an All Progressives Congress Presidential aspirant, Mr Christmas Akpodiete, has dragged the ruling All Progressives Congress, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the People’s Democratic Party, and order registered political parties before the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja over the high cost of nomination fees charged by the political parties.
His case is marked with Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/951/2018.
The presidential aspirant is asking the court to restrain the APC and the PDP from going ahead with the scheduled primaries and if they do, he’s asking the court to declare such primaries null and void.
Akpodiete is also asking the court to restrain INEC from recognising such primaries, pending the determination of the substantial suit.
Akpodiete is of the opinion that the nomination fees charged by the political parties were not only ridiculous and unaffordable, but also unconstitutional.
“The nomination fees are repugnant to the rules of natural justice, equity and good conscience.”
“It’s an attempt by the Nigerian political oligarchs to make nonsense of the just passed Not-too-Young-to- Run law, and it is a calculated move to deprive the Nigerian people their constitutionally guaranteed right to run for public offices in their own country,” Akpodiete said.
Akpodiete is asking the court to give a judicial breath to this matter by pegging the nomination fees for all elective positions at N18, 000 because according to him, that is the minimum wage.
Akpodiete is also praying the court that if the nomination fees are beyond that amount, the ordinary Nigerian worker who earns N18, 000 monthly would be deprived the capacity to achieve their constitutionally guaranteed right, which includes the right to run for public office.
Lawyer to the aspirant, Mr F.B Ehikioya, said, “The action is based on a breach of the fundamental human right of all Nigerian aspirants and any attempt to keep the Nigerian people down shall be collectively rejected.”
Recall that Akpodiete had earlier written to the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, appealing to the party to jettison the nomination fees or keep them within the minimum wage but his complaint was not addressed; hence the action.
The case is awaiting a hearing.