Kogi Election: Activist Sues INEC, PDP Over Musa Wada’s Mental Health In Leaked Medical Report

Barley three days to the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, a Lokoja-based lawyer, Ehimoni Sunday on Tuesday has approached the federal high court seeking to disqualify Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP from contesting Saturday’s Kogi guber elections.

The suit was commenced by Originating Summons numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/1375/19 and filed by his lawyers on November 12, 2019.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Engr. Musa Wada are 1st, 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs respectively in the matter which was filed at the court’s Abuja headquarters.

The court documents show that the Plaintiff wants the Court to determine whether going by his medical records the candidate of the PDP, Musa Wada, ought not to be declared and certified lunatic and a person of unsound mind, sanctioned for providing false information to INEC on his forms and prevented from contesting.

It will be recalled that social media and the press became awash last week with Wada’s medical records from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba Lagos State after they were leaked by unknown persons.

Making reference to Sections 182(1)(c) & (2)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) the plaintiff urged the court to determine as follows:

1. Whether in the light of 3rd Defendant’s Medical Records which emanated from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba Lagos State, the 3rd Defendant ought not to be declared a lunatic and /or a person of unsound mind.

2. Whether by virtue of Sections 182(1) (c) & (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), the 3rd Defendant is qualified for election to the office of Governor of Kogi State.

3. Whether having regard to the provisions of Sections 31 (2), (5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended), Sections 182 (1) (c) & (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), vis-a-vis 3rd Defendant’s INEC FORM CFOO1, submitted to the 2nd Defendant by the 1st and 3rd Defendants, particularly Part “B”, Article “E” Question “1”, the 3rd Defendant has not provided false information regarding his mental health and therefore liable to be disqualified from contesting the Kogi State Governorship election scheduled for the 16th day of November, 2019.

In addition to determining the points above, Mr. Ehimoni prayed the court for several reliefs including the following:

1. A DECLARATION that the 3rd Defendant is of unsound mind in view of the 3rd Defendant’s Medical Records which emanated from the Federal Neuro – Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos State.

2. A DECLARATION that by virtue of Sections 182 (1) (c) & (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), the 3rd Defendant been a person of unsound mind is not qualified for election to the office of Governor of Kogi State.

3. A DECLARATION that the 3rd Defendant’s INEC FORM CFOO1 submitted to the 2nd Defendant by the 1st and 3rd Defendants, particularly Part “B”, Article “E” Question “1”, contains false information regarding the mental health of the 3rd Defendant.

4. A DECLARATION that having regard to the provisions of Sections 31 (2), (5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended), Sections 182 (1) (c) & (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), vis-a-vis 3rd Defendant’s INEC FORM CFOO1, submitted to the 2nd Defendant by the 1st and 3rd Defendants, particularly Part “B”, Article “E” Question “1”, the 3rd Defendant has provided false information regarding his mental health and therefore liable to be disqualified from contesting the Kogi State Governorship election scheduled for the 16th day of November, 2019.

5. An Order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant for election to the office of Governor of Kogi State scheduled for the 16th day of November, 2019, for submitting to the 2nd Defendant false information regarding the 3rd Defendant’s mental health in INEC FORM CFOO1 particularly Part “B”, Article “E” Question “1.

Following the leakage of Mr. Wada’s personal details online, his medical records in particular have generated intense scrutiny and debate in Kogi State and across the country. Said to be from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba the records actually seem to confirm that the PDP candidate is grappling with serious mental health issues.

While the medical condition is not to be stigmatised, the electoral laws rightly prohibit anyone suffering from them from seeking high public office. This is because the capacity to reason well and make rational decisions, not just about oneself but the millions of other humans in one’s care within the polity if the individual is elected cannot be compromised.

No doubt the PDP candidate has presented with strange, sometimes bizzare, behaviour while on campaigns. For instance, Kogites are still scratching their heads from images of him holding aloft a white chicken from the roof of a car on one of his campaigns.

The consternation is not unrelated to the fact that his party’s symbol is an umbrella while the white rooster belongs to another All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the PDP’s closest rival in the opposition. People wondered if he was unaware of the difference, and if so, what is he doing campaigning to govern Kogi State?

It is also becoming worrisome to the electorate how he seems unable to keep his eyes open for any length of time at any public fora, no matter how important. Even PDP stalwarts are complaining on social media. He has become notorious for his furious fidgeting once he has to sit still for some time followed by attention deficit behaviour and then deep slumber. Images of him dozing off at the two stakeholders’ meetings organised by INEC so far are raising questions about probable cause, and how much of it might be drug-related for managing his condition.

From the questions submitted for determination, the Exhibits attached to the Affidavit in support of the Originating Summons, and the reliefs sought by the Plaintiff, the suit presents yet another headache for the PDP and its candidate already facing a plethora of cases by party members and human rights activists.

These cases attack Wada’s candidature and PDP’s chances from different angles, but all of them portend doom for them, both before and after the elections. It is becoming an inescapable conclusion that if against all odds Wada wins the Kogi gubers this Saturday, the Zamfara situation where the supreme court declared votes for the APC which won wasted and the PDP elected is inevitable. This is because the allegations of invalid primaries, forged academic and other credentials and unsound mind, along with the quantity and quality of evidence provided in proof by the various litigants will be difficult to surmount.

The people of Kogi State would of course prefer that the courts resolve these issues for them before the polls, as they did for Bayelsans yesterday, so they can be well guided when they vote on Saturday. But even if the courts choose not to, Kogites will still vote, except that they will open their eyes wide to evaluate the candidates based on their overall suitability for the physical and mental rigours of governing such a diverse polity.

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