The African African Congress (AAC) has filed a lawsuit against the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) over the exclusion of its presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, from the presidential debate.
A statement by Malcolm Fabiyi, Director General of the TakeItBack Movement and Sowore 2019 Campaign, noted that the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday. The suit, filed by Barrister Inibehe Effiong, the AAC Legal Adviser, asked the court to prevent the debate from going ahead without AAC. It also asked the court to compel the NEDG/BON to explain why the party was excluded from the debate.
Speaking on why the party instituted a case against NEDG and BON, Fabiyi said: “The Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG), in association with the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria and Channels TV, has been resolute in its discrimination against Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate for the African Action Congress. Despite being one of the top three parties in polls and surveys, the NEDG fraudulently excluded the AAC and selected other parties for the debate. The NEDG has cited multiple excuses for its discriminatory refusal to include the AAC. None of those excuses hold water.
“The nation is aware by now that the AAC party and the Take it Back Movement will not take injustice, discrimination or oppression lightly. We do not accept it when meted out to innocent Nigerians as we have shown in various protests, and we certainly will not accept it against ourselves or our efforts.
“This lawsuit should not only help ensure that the right of all Nigerians to have an authentic, unfiltered debate about the Nigeria’s future is assured, it would also serve notice to all those who hide behind legitimate institutions and organizations to perpetuate the oppression and the drowning out of legitimate voices from national discourse, that their days of impunity are over.
“We hope that the Nigerian judicial system will show itself to be strong, virile and independent as this case makes it way through the courts. Nigeria MUST progress.”