25th October, 2013
An Ilorin High Court on Friday dismissed an order seeking to restrain the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission, KWSIEC, from conducting the council polls slated for Saturday, 26 October in the state.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, had approached the high court seeking an order of injunction of the court restraining KWSIEC from conducting any election on 26 October into the various Kwara State Local Government councils when a matter challenging the validity, legality and the constitutionality of the proposed election is subjudice and pending before the court for determination.
APC also sought “and an order restraining the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Labour Party, Peoples Democratic Movement,PDM, and Independent Democrats- 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants- from holding out themselves or preventing themselves or participating in the 26th October proposed local government council election when the validity of their participation is subjudice.”
In his ruling, Justice Suleiman Kawu, said: “The applicants have failed to satisfy me in stopping the conduct of the election. For this reason the case is hereby dismissed,” adding that “it is almost impossible to grant the order of injunction without necessarily delving into the substantive case. I have no doubt in my mind that the applicants are guilty of delay as the case suffered several adjournments at their instance.”
Observing that the notice for the proposed election was given to the applicants in May 2013, Kawu wondered why the applicants did not file their case until August.
Reacting, a stalwart of the APC, Comrade Sola Iji, who was the chairman of the caretaker committee of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, lamented that the election will only be a contest between PDP and PDP and not a contest to test the popularity of political parties in the state.
He said:“An amendment to the state Electoral Law by the Kwara State House of Assembly was given on July 15th, 2013, no notice was given. KWSIEC gave notice for the election under an old law. A fresh notice ought to have been issued and that would have given us the opportunity to participate and meet all the requirements for participation in the election. That is our case in this matter. It is unfortunate that the court has not heard us. We hope that when the substantive matter comes up we will be able to prove our case.
“It is KWSIEC that has not allowed us to be part of the election process. That is what has happened by the ruling. Why we asked for the injunction is to enable us participate. From the ruling of the court, of course, the election will go on because we