The Hope Democratic Party (HDP) has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court over the short period given to parties to campaign in preparation for the 2019 general election.
Presidential candidate of Hope Party Ambrose Owuru told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the party approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Nov. 13 (Tuesday) to compel INEC to elongate time for campaign to enable the party propagate its message of “welfarism” to Nigerians.
Owuru said that the party also wants the court to punish INEC for allowing the All Progressive Congress (APC) to indirectly lobby voters with N10,000 through the “tradermoni” programme supervised by the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
He said the action of Osinbajo through the scheme was ill-timed and should not be allowed to continue.
“We want the court to declare the federal government’s tradermoni scheme illegal and breech of electoral act because it is a gimmick to financially induce voters ahead of the 2019 general election.
“The court should reprimand INEC for failing to check the act of Osinbajo (Chairman National Economic Council) in openly giving out physical cash of N10,000 to market women.
“The court should determine whether the disguise of tradermoni during this period of election is not a plan by the APC and Osinbajo to up-stage and disrupt Hope Party’s welfarism and wealth redistribution of N2 million grants to Nigerian families to end poverty.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and Newspapers Proprietors Association are also defendants in the suit.
Owuru said NBC and Newspapers Proprietors Association were joined in the suit for not giving the party and its candidates due coverage of their events.
“This could be targeted at denying the party rights to equal treatment and could deny Nigerians the right to informed choices at the 2019 presidential election,” Owuru added. No date has been fixed for the matter.