TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has barred the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, from participating in the governorship primary election of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rescheduled on June 25, 2020.
The trial judge, Justice E. A. Obile, gave the order in Suit No: FHC/PH/CS/69/2020 filed by one of the governorship aspirants of the PDP, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who had vowed not to step down for Governor Obaseki.
The court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), not to recognise Obaseki as a candidate in the primary election of the party.
The defendants in the suit were: Prince Uche Secondus, Emmanuel Ogidi, Kingsley Chinda, Chief Debekeme Boyleyefa, Senator James Manager, Barr. Ajibola Muraina, PDP, Obaseki and INEC.
The plaintiff, Ogbeide-Ihama, had sought an order of Intrim Injunction restraining the first, second, third, fourth, fifth sixth and seventh
defendants from allowing the eighth defendant or any member or non-member other than those that have purchased Forms and were screened within the time stated in the said election timetable, to contest the seventh defendaint’s primary election rescheduled to hold on June 25, for the purpose of norminating or electing its candidate for the year 2020 governorship election in Edo State pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
Ogbeide-Ihama also prayed among others, an order of intrim injunction restricting the ninth (INEC) defendant from further recognising the eighth defendant, Obaseki, as candidate of the party’s primary, pending the determination of the suit.
However, Justice Obile, in the orders, also granted the applicant an order for substituted means of Service on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth defendants, by serving the originating summons and other court processes in the suit on the said defendants through pubilication in two national newspapers, or by serving the originating processes and other court prooesses in the suit at the respective addresses at the various defendants as reflected on the orignating summons.
The judge also granted an order for accelerated hearing of motion on notice on the matter and adjourned till June 24.