A politician, Moshood Aro, popularly known as ‘AMA, has been dragged before a Federal High Court, Lagos, for allegedly contesting in the All Progressive Congress, APC, primary election with a fake membership card of the party.
AMA who contested in the last primary election into the Lagos House of Assembly (Ikorodu Constituency 2) was listed by the party as the winner
AMA was brought before Justice Nicholas Oweibo led court by one Oluwatosin Onamade, another contestant in the election from Ikorodu Constituency 2.
Others dragged before the court are the APC and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as first and second defendants respectively.
In an originating summons dated July 5, 2022, filed before the court, the plaintiff, Onamade, is asking the court to declare that the third defendant (AMA) was ineligible to contest in the primary election and that his emergence as the winner was “through an unlawful election contrary to Section 20(111) and 20(iv) of the APC Constitution and Section 84(1) and (4a and b) of the Electoral Act 2022, and is, therefore, null and void.”
The plaintiff is also asking the court to order INEC not to recognise ‘AMA as the candidate of the 1st defendant (APC) in the election, and declare that he (Onamade) was the candidate of the 1st defendant and winner of the election. He is also asking for N10 million as damages against the 3rd defendant.
In an Affidavit in support of the Originating Summon, the plaintiff alleged that the 3rd defendant is still a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), but contested in the primary election allegedly using a fake membership card of the APC.
Plaintiff alleged that ‘AMA is a member of the opposition party who had contested three times in elections into the Lagos House of Assembly on the PDP platform but lost.
He further alleged that in the May 27, 2022, primary election, the 3rd defendant contested under APC without first resigning his membership from the opposition party.
The plaintiff further stated that a letter dated May 13, 2022, was sent to the Ward Chairman of the PDP to ascertain the membership status of the 3rd defendant, and a reply dated May 16 and 17, 2022 from the leadership of the party confirmed the 3rd defendant is still a member of the party.
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Onamade further argued that the APC had ended the registration and validation of its members on April 21, 2021 but alleged that the membership card in possession of the 3rd defendant with which he was screened by the APC’S screening committee and contested indicated he was registered as a member of the ruling party on April 29, 2021, adding the card is different from the original ones and therefore is fake.
The plaintiff had earlier written a petition dated May 27, 2022, to the Chairman, APC Appeal Panel for 2022 Lagos House of Assembly Primary Election, rejecting the outcome of the election on the ground ‘of lack of transparency, ballot snatching, conspiracy between collation officers and Primary election representatives committee, prevention of delegates to access voting venue, diversion of delegates list.’
However in his Counter Affidavit dated July 19, 2022, the 3rd defendant claimed he resigned his membership from the PDP on February 2, 2021 at his former Ward B2 in Imota, Ikorodu, before joining APC.
In a similar affidavit filed at the High Court of Lagos State in the Ikorodu Judicial Division by the PDP Ward D2, chairman, Ijede, Ikorodu, Lagos state, Mr Akeem Daodu, sworn on oath that AMA is an active and financial member of the PDP with membership card number 3230425 in Ward D2.
Daodu declared that AMA is one of the party leaders in the LCDA and has neither officially resigned or renounced his membership of the PDP.
The affidavit dated 25th of July, 2022, read in part, “Mr. Abiodun Moshood Aro is a party leader in my ward in Ward D2, Ijede LCDA, Ikorodu, Lagos state. That Mr Abiodun Moshood Aro informed me of his intention to contest under the Peoples Democratic Party as aspirant for the Lagos State House of Assembly in preparation for the 2023 election in Ikorodu constituency 2.