Law News
Party withdraws from anti-card reader suit

The Action Alliance has withdrawn from a suit it filed along with three other political parties to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission from using the electronic card readers in the forthcoming general elections.

The suit was filed in the name of the four political parties before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Apart from the Action Alliance, which was the second plaintiff in the suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/173/2015, other plaintiffs in the suit are the United Democratic Party, the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria and the Alliance for Democracy. INEC was joined as the only defendant in the suit.

Justice Ademola struck out Action Alliance’s name from the suit after it successfully argued on Thursday that it did not authorise any lawyer to join it as a plaintiff in the suit.

The suit was filed on behalf of the parties by three Senior Advocates of Nigeria – Dr. Alex Izinyon, Bolaji Ayorinde, Ikechukwu Ezechukwu.

But Action Alliance, through a different counsel, Mr. Malachy Nwankwe, appeared before the court on Thursday, informing the judge that it did not authorise the filing of the suit.

Izinyon who led the plaintiffs’ legal team however urged the court to ignore Nwankwe, as he (Izinyon) was duly instructed to institute the suit at a meeting where the chairmen of the four political parties were present.

He argued that for the party to change its counsel it had to, in accordance with Order 9 Rule 35 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, file an application in that respect.

But in his response, Nwankwe, rules cited by Izinyon was not applicable as the party could not be regarded as having filed the suit.

He said the chairman of Action Alliance was no longer fit to give such legal instruction since he had become the party’s presidential candidate.

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