A Federal High Court seating in Benin City, the Edo State capital, on Monday, January 18th, 2021, dismissed a suit filed by African Action Congress(AAC) challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Godwin Obaseki on account of its candidate’s name not appearing on the ballot paper used in the conduct of the Saturday, September 19th, 2020, governorship election in Edo State.
On whether the court has jurisdiction to rule on the issue, Justice Demi Ajayi-George stated that the court can only use the claim of the plaintiffs/respondent to determine its jurisdiction on the matter.
She said that the plaintiff was not vigilant enough as they should have filed their suit within the 14 days time limit stipulated by the electoral law.
Justice Ajayi-George stated that since the plaintiff said that the INEC refused to accept the forms of the it’s candidate on two different occasions, the 6th and 8th of July, 2020, they should have immediately filed their suit in court as it is statue barred and not wait until 29th July, 2020 before doing so.
Her Lordship accordingly dismissed the suit for being caught in the web of statue barred. She awarded N100,000 as costs for damages to the defendants.