Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Federal High Court sitting in Benin City reserved legal arguments on an ex parte motion seeking to prevent the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, from using direct primaries to elect Edo State governorship candidate of the party till next week Monday.
Joined in the suit is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Factional State Deputy Chairman of the party Pastor Kenneth Asemokhai and a governorship aspirant of the party, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, who approached the court, are seeking to restrain the APC from adopting the direct mode of primaries.
They cited COVID-19 and 2018 APC NEC resolution as the ground for their action.
According to the plaintiffs, who were represented by John Odubela, SAN, the APC constitution provides that the states should suggest the mode of primaries to the NWC, that they have suggested indirect primaries in which 4,000 delegates would participate with 500 delegates representing each ward.
An argument, however, ensued when defendants Lawyers led by HO Ogbodu, SAN, appeared in the matter and demanded to be served the motion papers.
Consequently, presiding Judge MD Umar declined to grant the ex parte motion but instead gave the defendants three days to file their papers to show cause why the injunction should not be granted and adjourned the case till next week Monday.