Lucky Ighomuaye, Benin
A Benin High Court, presided by Justice Emmanuel Ahamiojie, yesterday, authenticated Osagie Ize-Iyamu as bonafide member of All Progressives Congress (APC) and that he is qualified to contest in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.
In his ruling, the judge said the issue of waiver is the prerogative of every political party and not for the court to determine.
“I hereby declare that Ize-Iyamu (third defendant) is qualified to contest being a registered member of the APC,” the judge said.
The state deputy chairman, Kenneth Asekomhe, now expelled by the party, Benjamin Oghumu, Matthew Ogbebor and Unweni Nosa, had instituted a suit challenging APC decision for granting a waiver to Ize-Iyamu to make him eligible to contest the party primary.
Defendants, in the suit, are the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and Ize-Iyamu.
The claimants predicated their case on the grounds that any waiver purportedly granted by Oshiomhole without the approval of APC National Executive Committee and without Ize-Iyamu formally applying for such waiver through his claimed ward, local government area, is null, void and of no effect.
They prayed the court to restrain APC from recognising Ize-Iyamu as an aspirant of the party in its primary to select a candidate to represent it in the governorship election.
Ize-Iyamu counsel, Henry Ogbodu, advised it is time political parties started resolving their problems internally instead of dragging the court into their political squabbles, noting that the court is already over burden with cases.
But the plaintiffs’ counsel, Owotori Santus, said what would be done next would be decided by his clients after studying the judgment.