Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, Aniekan Akpan, and the Secretary, Harrison Ekpo, have sued President Bola Tinubu and the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio at the Federal High Court, Abuja, over the appointment of Etekamba Umoren the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the state.
In their originating summons, filed on Tuesday, the plaintiffs are asking the court to, among others, declare that Umoren is not qualified to be appointed as REC, since he is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
They attached to their summons coloured photographs of Umoren on campaign grounds, adorning APC kits campaigning for the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.
According to the PDP chieftains, provisions of the Constitution, which is supreme, must be strictly adhered to in the determination of how the President carries out his function under Section 154(3) and who qualifies to be appointed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) REC for Akwa Ibom and indeed every state in Nigeria.
They argued that rigging of elections, which is the bane of democracy in Nigeria, begins with the unconstitutional appointment of partisan officers into INEC and must be resisted in the interest of all citizens.
Asking the court to declare the appointment of Umoren illegal, null, and void, they noted that Tinubu failed to consult with the Council of State before making the appointment on October 25, 2023.
Other prayers sought by the plaintiffs include, “A declaration that the 1st defendant (Tinubu) cannot present the 3rd defendant (Umoren) to the 2nd defendant (Senate) for confirmation as REC for Akwa Ibom.
“A declaration that the appointment of the 3rd defendant as REC is unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void ab initio, and of no effect whatsoever.”
The plaintiffs are also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining Tinubu from presenting Umoren to the Senate as REC.
Also, they prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Senate from allowing, permitting, and/or confirming Umoren as REC and a further injunction restraining Umoren from acting, assuming the office, and/or parading himself as REC for Akwa Ibom.