Delta 2019: RAP guber candidate drags INEC, APC, Ogboru to court

Barely 12 days to the March 9 gubernatorial election, the candidate of the Reform and Advancement Party (RAP), Mr. Omo Olotu, has filed a suit compelling Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress Party (APC) to obey a court order and stop parading himself as a governorship candidate in Delta State.

The suit, with number W/37/2019 filed at a High Court in Warri, also has as its respondents APC, Its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The suit is in an originating summons brought pursuant to order 3/Rule 5 of the Electoral Act 2010, Section 36(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended in 2011, Order 3 |Rule 15, Order 4 Rule 2 of the High Court of Delta State (Civil Procedure rules) 2009.

Olotu wants the court to compel INEC to explain why it has not obeyed the court order made by a High Court in Kwale, in suit No. HCK/56/2018 on July 4, 2018, restraining the defendants “from recognizing and swearing in any other state executive of the All Progressive Congress Party (APC), apart from that chaired by Chief Cyril Abeye ogodo and his members into office, pending the hearing and determination of the motion of notice for interlocutory injunction pending before the court.”

According to him, since the Court Order was given, “there has been no variation, no setting aside nor annulment of the order of the High court, Kwale, yet the 4th respondent (INEC) in that case, continues to recognize the present Erue-led Exco of the All Progressive Congress Party (APC) which conducted the gubernatorial primaries which led to the emergence of Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru.”

Olotu is, therefore, urging the court to compel INEC to determine, among others: “Whether or not a court order/ judgment should be obeyed all the time until it is set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction; and whether (until it is set aside, it is or not binding on all parties to a suit).

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“Whether the applicant’s rights (political, legal or fundamental) are not affected in such a way as to injure him with the locus standi to institute this action in court or not or alternatively.

“Whether or not a disobedience to court order or judgment, to put it mildly, not implementing or enforcing a court order does not adversely affect the sufficient interest of the applicant and whether all these do not affect the majesty or sanctity of a court and whether these do not threaten the applicant rights to enable him to sue.”

Olotu, who said he has his valid nomination papers and other documents as a qualified governorship candidate for the March 9 poll under RAP in the state, said his decision to seek redress was in good faith, in the interest of justice and equity in accordance with the Law.

Although no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit, it is expected to come up before the end of the week.

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