Tony John, Port Harcourt
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Wednesday struck out a suit filed by Mr Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama which seeks to stop Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki from participating in the governorship primary elections of the People s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State.
Counsels for the plaintiff, DC Denwigwe, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had upon court resumption of hearing on Wednesday made an oral application informing the court that the parties in the suit had resolved their differences.
Denwigwe told the court that the parties had settled and directed them (their counsels) to withdraw the case.
He apologized to the court for the inconveniences they had caused and appealed to the court to strike out the matter based on the oral prayers.
Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem, counsel for the first defendant (Uche Secondus) and third to the seventh defendants, counsel for the second defendant, Higher King, and counsel for the eighth and ninth defendants, Alex Ejesiema, also agreed to the motion moved by Demwigwe.
However, the trial judge, Justice Emmanuel Obile, struck out the matter following the submission of the counsels.
In his ruling, Justice Obile said: ‘I commend the counsel and parties for settling out of court as it is the proper thing to do.’
Earlier, the court had stood down the case for several hours following the parties’ request for out of court settlement, before reconvening by 2 pm.
It would be recalled that governorship aspirant of the PDP in Edo State, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, had filed a suit seeking the court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to recognise Obaseki as candidate of the party.
Also sued in the matter were Prince Uche Secondus, Emmanuel Ogidi, Kingsley Chinda, Chief Debekeme Boyleyefa, Senator James Manager, Barr. Ajibola Muraina, PDP, Obaseki and the INEC.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Wednesday, the plaintiff’s counsel, Ferdinand Orhih, informed the court that originating processes and relevant motions had been published in two dailies as ordered by the court at the last sitting. He added that all defendants in the matter had been served accordingly.
Orhih also informed the court that there were moves by the parties to settle or resolve the matter amicably outside the formal litigations.
He, nevertheless, prayed for a standdown to enable the parties tidy up in terms of settlement.
Other defendants’ counsels in the court did not oppose the application but pleaded the court for some hours to come back to court.
The eighth defendant’s (PDP) counsel, Alex Ejesieme, who did not also oppose the settlement out of court, also tendered already filed applications in the court.
The applications included the Notice of Preliminary Objection, a Memo of Conditional Appearance, Application for Injunction Pending Appeal and a Notice of Appeal dated June 23 and filed on June 24.
Ruling on the applications for settlement, the trial judge, Justice Obile, granted the parties their submissions.
‘Following the urgency of the matter and in the absence of any objection, the case is stood down till 12 noon,’ he said.
After the 12 noon, the time was extended to 2 pm.