BY LEVI JOHNSON
The Federal High Court, Lagos, has Monday ruled in favour of the Youth Party in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/625, before His Lordship, Honourable Justice Akintayo Aluko.
Aluko, granted the order of injunction in a case filed by the Youth Party and argued eloquently by Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, S.A.N., wherein he narrated the “travails of the Youth.”
Youth Party won in their bid to ensure participation in the forthcoming Lagos Council Election fixed for 24th July 2021 and their perennial battle to ensure that INEC and LASIEC respect the rule of law, particularly obedience to judicial decisions.
The Court ruled and granted that: ‘INEC and LASIEC are restrained whether by themselves, their agents, privies, employees, officers, or anyone whosoever acting for them and on their behalf from conducting the forthcoming Lagos State Local Government elections scheduled for 24th July 2021 or any other elections whatsoever to the exclusion of the Applicant pending the determination of the Interlocutory Application, which has now been adjourned to Monday 19th July 2020.’
The Court’s decision is in line with the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja delivered by Honourable Justice I.E. Ekwo that declared the purported de-registration of the Party illegal, null, and void. Also, the Court of Appeal, Abuja, affirmed the decision of the lower Court and “found the action of INEC very reprehensive.”
The judgment at the lower Court was consequent to INEC’s persistent disregard for the rule of law and judicial decisions in failing to register the Party within the time stipulated in the law and illegally preventing it from participating in elections.
The party in a statement said that “INEC further resorted to illegal self-help by illegally de-registering Youth Party while both of them were before the Federal High Court over the issue.
INEC has taken the position of an immoral and biased electoral umpire.”
Honourable Justice I.E. Ekwo in his judgment had held that:
“The Defendant is not above the law. No person or parties to an action is allowed to resort to self-help when an action is pending in Court”. The claim that Defendant has the power pursuant to S. 225A (b) & (c) of the 1999 Constitution(as amended) to de-register a political party does not justify the action of Defendant while this action is pending.
“Therefore, the de-registration of the Plaintiff during the pendency of this action by the Defendant is illegal, null and void, and liable to be set aside. Consequently, I hereby make an order setting aside the de-registration of the Plaintiff.”
In conclusion, the party said “The ruling of the Federal High Court has put paid to the shameless resort to self-help, orchestrated by the collaborative efforts of INEC and LASIEC to stop the Youth Party’s commitment to the expansion of the democratic space, political ascendancy, and its bid to prevent the rot in the political space.