By Nelson Manneh
The Banjul High Court is set to hear the elections petition case involving members of the Nigeria Community in October.
Chika Charles Nwosu, Aniekan Umoh and Deborah Nancy Paul are the plaintiffs in this case while Chima Ochiulo, Ikechukwu Obi, Chris U. Jukpor, Pamela Jaiyeola (president of the women wing) and the Inspector General of Police of the Gambia are the defendants.
The plaintiffs sought for the High Court to declare the announcement of the 1st defendant (Chima Ochiulo) and his team as elected officials of the Nigeria Community in The Gambia without a proper election as wrongful, illegal, null and void. Also, the plaintiffs sought for a declaration by the High Court that the first defendant and his team were not validly elected in accordance with the rules laid down for the elections in the Nigeria Community – The Gambia’s electoral rules and regulations. In third claim, the plaintiffs sought for the High Court to make an order cancelling the purported election of the first defendant and his team as officials of the Nigeria Community – The Gambia. Also, the plaintiffs sought a declaration by the court that the swearing-in of all purported elected officials of the Nigeria Community which was scheduled for 29th March 2019 at the Senegambia Beach Hotel was illegal, unconstitutional and of no effect. Finally, the plaintiffs want the court to award a cost of D1,000,000.00 (one million dalasis) in their favour as general damages for wrongful exclusion from participating in the elections, emotional and psychological pain and torture. Also, they claim for D250,000.00 (two hundred and fifty thousand dalasis) as legal and administrative costs.
The particulars of claim have it that the general elections into offices of the Nigeria Community in The Gambia are usually organized along with ethnic groups such as‘Igbos’, ‘Hausa’, Yorubas and the South-South. Each ethnic group is made up of several states of the Nigerian Federation and each usually conducts internal primaries to determine the best candidate fill any office zoned to that ethnic group.
The plaintiff indicated that the defendants acted jointly and severally to sabotage their aspirations to contest in the election into the office of the President of the Nigeria Community –The Gambia.