A High Court in Ekpoma Judicial Division has restrained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others from removing, preventing or purporting to exclude Governor Godwin Obaseki or any of other aspirant who has been cleared by the party from participating in the gubernatorial primary slated for 25th June, 2020.
The Judge, J. O. Okeaya-Inneh, ruling in a suit filed by Felix Irioh and Tom Irehobhude, said: “I find in my humble view that the applicants have satisfied the guidelines for the grant of the orders sought as enjoined in the celebrated landmark case of Kotoye v CBN (1989), 1 NWLR PT. 98, 419 at 441.”
Defendants in the suit are Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, the PDP, Andy Ikhajiangbe, Peter Akhimien and INEC.
The judge adjourned the matter to July 1 for hearing of pending applications.
This came as the party called for sanctions against Justice Emmanuel Obile of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Division, for assuming jurisdiction over a suit filed by one of its governorship aspirant in Edo State, seeking to bar Governor Obaseki from participating in its primary.
The suit was instituted by an aspirant, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who had vowed not to step down for Mr Obaseki.
A major reason cited by Ogbeide-Ihama was that Obaseki recently joined the party and only those who purchased the forms during the stipulated window should be allowed to participate in the primary election.
Just like Obaseki’s former party, the APC, Ogbeide-Ihama also questioned his educational credentials.
He also prayed that the primaries be put on hold pending when the court would hear the motion on notice.
The judge, however, did not grant the prayer but asked that the motion seeking to bar Obaseki be served on the defendants, including Obaseki via newspaper publication.
Obaseki joined the PDP on Friday after he was disqualified by his former party, APC, from seeking re-election allegedly for submitting questionable certificates. He was, however, granted waiver after he joined the APC.
PDP, in the petition dated June 23 and addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Mohammed, prayed that the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court be advised to reassign the suit to a judge of the Federal High Court sitting at the Abuja Division of the Court.
The petition signed by Dakzel Longii Shamnas, on behalf of the party, accused Justice Obile of not being circumspect in approaching the suit.
Wike withdraws from reconciliation, slams NWC
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has pulled out of the reconciliation efforts of the Edo State chapter of the PDP and accused some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) as sycophants and tax collectors, who would never tell the truth.
The governor said instead of the NWC to carry everybody along in Edo State, they resorted to using the media to blackmail him.
“I told them that in Edo State, we must handle the issue carefully and carry everybody along. They must respect human beings and not behave like tax collectors. They said because an order was obtained from a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, then, I am responsible.
“I have had sleepless nights to resolve the issue in Edo State. The governors of Edo, Adamawa, and Delta states, know what I have done to resolve the issues in Edo State.
“As a result of this senseless accusation, I have pulled out of Edo State settlement. My integrity matters. I have also directed my lawyer to write (national newspaper) on the publication they made against me in their Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020 edition. I know the members of the National Working Committee of PDP who connived with newspaper. They are tax collectors. Let them challenge me and I will come out with more facts. Nobody will rubbish me by raising false accusations against me. I will fight back”, he declared.