Tony Osauzo, Benin
The order of the Federal High Court in Benin which restrained the All Progressives Congress from conducting the June 22 governorship primary election in Edo State using direct mode, was last night set aside by the Court of Appeal.
The Court however ordered the continuation of the trial of the suit at Federal High Court, which is expected to hold this (Friday) morning.
Delivering the judgment in the appeals filed by the APC and its suspended National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the presiding judge, Justice Morenike Ogunwomiju, accompanied by Justices Sam Oseji and Moore Adumein, described as problematic, the order by Justice Mohammed Umar of FHC, Benin.
In the lead judgment in the suit by APC, delivered by Justice Ogunwomiju and backed by Justice Oseji, she said: “The trial judge (Justice Umar) gave a problematic order that was not sought by the parties to the suit. As at the date (June 8) the order was given, the political party (APC in Edo State) had 14 days to organise its governorship primary election. Every judge must be a democrat.
“The appellant (APC) was not given an opportunity to be heard by the trial court. The injunctive order of the trial court of June 8 is hereby set aside. The administrative orders subsist and the issue of jurisdiction should be determined by the trial court”, the Judges held.
But in his dissenting judgment in the APC’s suit, Justice Adumein declared that the injunctive order of FHC ought not to have been set aside, pointing out that the appeal was interlocutory, incompetent and should be struck out.
He held that the trial court did not make any mistake in the matter, in line with Section 285, Sub-section 8 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, saying that court should not decide cases based on sentiments.
In the second suit filed by Oshiomhole, the only judgment was read by Justice Oseji, who declared that the appeal lacked merit and it was premature, and therefore struck it out.