An Abuja High Court has decided to grant accelerated hearing to a suit filed by the African Action Congress (AAC) and its presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, against the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG), Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and Mr. John Momoh, Chairman of BON, challenging the party's exclusion from the presidential election debate organised by the respondents.
Eddie Emessiri, Executive Secretary of NEDG, had earlier claimed that "character and popularity" led to Sowore's exclusion from the debate. However, he had later claimed that "lack of funds" was the reason for restricting the presidential debate to just five candidates.
Sitting in Court 14 of the FCT High Court, Jabi, on Monday, Honourable Justice D.Z. Senchi listened to a motion ex parte for interim injunction to restrain the defendants from organising or holding the January 19, 2019 presidential election debate without including the AAC among the political parties selected to participate in the debate.
A statement by Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi, Director, PR, Media and Communications of the Sowore 2019 Campaign/African Action Congress, noted that after listening to submissions made by Inibehe Effiong, the National Legal Adviser of the AAC, the court ruled that the urgency of the case warranted an accelerated hearing of the suit to allow all parties in the suit to state their cases before a decision could be made.
He, therefore, adjourned the case to January 8, 2019 for hearing and also ordered that all processes in the suit must be filed before the next adjourned date and that no application for extension of time will be entertained by the court.
Representing AAC in court were the party’s National Legal Adviser, Inibehe Effiong; his co-counsel, Mr. Seprebofa Oyeghe; AAC Deputy National Secretary, Dr. Joshua Adeoye; AAC National Organizing Secretary, Philip Oshiokhue, and other members of the party.