Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has reserved December 4, 2018, to deliver judgment in the crisis that trailed the governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State.
Meanwhile, one of the governorship candidate of the party in the state, Chief Great Ogboru and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have all asked the court to throw out the suit.
The suit was filed by Victor Ochei, challenging the outcome of the party gubernatorial primaries held on September 30, 2018.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1085/2018, Ochei listed INEC, APC and Great Ogboru defendants.
Counsel to INEC, Ebuka Nwaeze in urging the court to strike out the matter argued that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the case.
The INEC counsel stated that jurisdiction conferred to the court as it relates to prepare election matters is on non compliance to party constitution, electoral act, and 1999 constitution.
Nwaeze submitted that the court does not have jurisdiction to determine whether the matter as presently constituted.
Similarly, Nelson Imoh, counsel to the third Defendant, Great Ogboru, objected to Ochei’s suit because it was not initiated by due process, insisting that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the case as constituted.
Imoh, posited that the procedure for the enforcement of an extant judgment of court in an event of an alleged disobedience there from is as provided for under Section 66 (f); Section 72 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act; Order ix Rules (13) (1) & (2) of the Judgment (Enforcement) Rules made pursuant to the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act.
Imoh submitted the consent judgment of Hon Justice A.| Chikere delivered on the 19th day of June, 2018, is an existing judgment that has not been appealed against nor set aside.
Therefore, Imoh held that the present court is a court of coordinate jurisdiction and at par with the court of Hon Justice A.l. Chikere.
“This court has no jurisdiction to add to, extend, remove from, substitute and or expand the content, purview, tenor and the application of the consent judgment of Hon Justice A.|. Chikere delivered on the 19th day of June, 2018.
“The Governorship primaries of the second defendant that produced the third defendant/applicant as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 Governorship Election in Delta State was conducted in substantial compliance with Section 87 (4) (b) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As amended).
“There is no material placed before this court by the pIaintiff/respondent to show that a particular section of the Electoral Act was breached by the third defendant with regards to the Governorship primaries of the second defendant that produced the third defendant/applicant as the flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2019 Governorship Election in Delta State.
More so, Ogboru’s counsel contended that the consent judgment of Justice A.l Chikere delivered on the 19 day of June, 2018, has no name of a particular delegate to be used for the conduct of the Governorship primaries of the APC in Delta State.
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The third defendant stated that all the reliefs as contained in the plaintiff/respondent’s Originating Summons were reliefs not founded on law nor capable of sustaining the Originating Summons.
He pointed out that Articles 7 & 20 of the All Progressive Congress (APC) constitution 2012 (as amended) was substantially and wholly complied with by the third defendant/applicant, as well as first and second defendants in the conduct of the Governorship primaries of the APC that produced the Ogboru as the flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2019 Governorship Election in Delta State.
In addition, he said the case of Victor Ochei was brought in bad faith, stressing “There is no reasonable cause of action disclosed against the third defendant\applicant in the plaintiff‘s Originating Summons.
“The plaintiff/respondent who participated fully in the said primaries of the 30th of September, 2018 of the second defendant, had delegates’ votes counted and assigned to him by the Delta State Governorship primaries Chairman assigned by the second defendant’s National Executive Council, cannot turn around to complain of non-compliance with the conduct of the said Governorship primaries in Delta state.
“Issues of disputed facts in contention are not maintainable by way of an Originating Summons.
“The case of the plaintiff is speculative and an arrant abuse of the process of this honourable court” Imoh stated, while urging the court to strike out the suit. END.