Home News Edo poll: Court to deliver judgment in suits challenging Ighodalo’s candidacy April 30

Edo poll: Court to deliver judgment in suits challenging Ighodalo’s candidacy April 30

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Edo poll: Court to deliver judgment in suits challenging Ighodalo’s candidacy April 30

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, fixed April 30 for judgment in two separate suits challenging the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s primary election that produced Asue Ighodalo as the party’s governorship candidate for the Edo poll.

Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date after counsel for the parties adopted their processes and presented their arguments for and against the suits.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while the first suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/195/2024, was filed by Adizetu Umoru, the second suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/196/2024, was filed by Moses Alabi and Christopher Oboarer.

The plaintiffs had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), PDP, Umar Damagu (acting national chairman), Setonji Koshoedo, PDP’s National Working Committee (NWC), and its National Executive Committee (NEC) as 1st to 6th defendants respectively.

INEC had announced that the Edo governorship election will be held on Sept. 21.

The three plaintiffs, in their separate ex-parte motions dated and filed Feb. 19, specifically sought an interim order of the court restraining the defendants from using the list of ward congresses held on Feb. 4, for the purpose of conducting the PDP’s primary in Edo State, slated for Feb. 22 or any other date pending the hearing and determination of the main suit.

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Mr Magaji Ibrahim, SAN, who moved the two separate motions, pointed out that the primary election would amount to a nullity if allowed to hold on the grounds that the process which produced the delegates is defective.

According to Ibrahim, the PDP trampled upon the judgment of the court delivered on Jan. 9 when the acting national secretary of the party announced the information of the ward congresses.

He recalled that the court, presided over by Justice Ekwo, had, in the Jan. 9 judgment, declared Sen. Samuel Anyanwu as the substantive National Secretary of the PDP.

He argued that rather than comply with the judgment, the party went ahead to appoint an acting national secretary in flagrant disobedience of the court.

It was the claims of the applicants that the action of the acting national secretary amounted to an illegality, and by extension, the product of the ward congresses held on Feb. 4.

They, therefore, prayed the court to restrain the party and INEC from making use of the list of delegates from the alleged defective congresses.

Although Justice Ekwo declined to grant the application to stop the poll conduct, the judge ordered the applicants to put the defendants on notice to enable them appear before the court and show cause why the request against them should not be granted.

Upon resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, Mathew Burkaa, SAN, who appeared for Umoru, adopted all their processes, including the originating summons dated Feb. 14.

Burkaa urged the court to dismiss the notice of preliminary objection filed by the defendants and grant their prayers.

INEC’s lawyer, I.S. Mohammed, PDP’s counsel, Adeyemi Ajibade, SAN; and lawyer who appeared for Damagun and Koshoedo, Kehibde Ofunwumiju, SAN, and Robert Emukpoeruo, who represented the NWC and NEC, urged the court to dismiss the suit

who said a notice of preliminary objection was filed by the commission, prayed the court to strike out the suit on merit and award substantial cost.

Also the second suit was equally argued in the same vein.

Justice Ekwo fixed April 30 for judgement.

Meanwhile, the judge fixed the third suit filed on behalf of the 378 ad hoc delegates in Edo primary poll against INEC, PDP, national secretary of PDP and the vice chairman, PDP South South (1st to 4th defendants) until May 2 for ruling on motion seeking for a change of counsel for the 4th defendant.

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