Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Federal High Court in Benin, will next week Monday, rule whether Pastor Kenneth Asekomhe, factional vice chairman of the Edo State APC and Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, disqualified governorship aspirant of the party, have the locus to sustain legal action against the party, both having expelled from the APC.
The duo who are plaitiffs in a suit they filed seeking to stop the party from conducting governorship primay in the state using the direct mode, were expelled from the APC last week for violating the constitution of the party by going to court without first exhausting internal mechanism of the party.
When the case came yesterday, Councel to the 2nd defendant in the suit (the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomole), Roland Otaru, prayed the court to quash the case stating that the parties involved have been screened out of the primaries while others expelled from the party.
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Umar, having listened to his arguments, adjourned the case to Monday 22, June.
The Judge also dismissed the application filed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Pius Odubu and Osaro Obazee, seeking to be joined in the suit.
Counsel to the applicants, Douglas Ogbankwa had prayed the court that all the aspirants cleared by the party for the primaries coming up on the 22 of June should be allowed to be joined in the suit.
He said it is their rights and that anything short of that is a breach of their fundamental human rights.
Douglas said his clients were the only persons recognised by law and the party and that nobody has come to contest that and therefore, they deserved the right to be joined in the suit.
The judge having listened to his arguments, dismissed his application on the ground that the relief sort in the originating summons did not show the reason for them to be joined in the case.
The Judge also struck out the application from the 4th defendant (the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu) to be withdrawn from the case.
Counsel to the 4th defendant, M. O. Omosun told the court of his decision to withdraw from the case.
In a related development, a frontline governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, will know his fate on June 25 on the May 21 waiver granted him to contest by members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the governing party.
The presiding judge of Edo High Court 6, Benin, Justice Emmanuel Ahamioje, gave the date for judgment at yesterday’s sitting, after submissions of the counsel to the parties, but warned lawyers, politicians and their agents against possible attempts to bribe or blackmail him over the political matter.
“Do not give money to anybody on my behalf. I will never send anybody to collect money for me”, the Judge said.
APC’s NWC fixed June 22 for Edo governorship primary election, using direct mode, with Ize-Iyamu and a former Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Pius Odubu participating,after the third asspirant and ex-Chairman of Oredo Local Government Council of Edo state, Osaro Obazee stepped down.
The suit was filed by a factional Deputy Chairman of Edo APC, Kenneth Asekomhe, who was last week expelled for anti-party activities by NWC of the party; and three stalwarts of APC in the state: Benjamin Oghumu, Mathew Ogbebor and Unweni Nosa, who are all loyalists of Governor Godwin Obaseki, who on Tuesday resigned his membership of APC, along with his deputy, Philip Shaibu.