PDP primary: Court grants accelerated hearing in suit seeking to stop Obaseki

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday, granted an order of accelerated hearing in a suit seeking to stop Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, from participating in the governorship primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party, slated for tomorrow, 25th June.

Ruling on a motion ex parte application, brought by one Omoregei Ogbeide-Ihama, against the governor’s participation, the court presided over by Justice E. A. Obile, directed the plaintiff/applicant to serve the nine defendants in the suit, though the substituted service, he proposed.

There is no evidence of the court granting the main order as requested by the plaintiff.

In the court processes made available, the part, proposing the means of effecting the planned substituted service, was also not included.

Judiciary leadership has consistently warned judges against ex parte application endorsement and many judicial officers, had been sent packing since Justice Wilson Egbo Egbo of an Abuja High Court, on Tuesday, July 22, 2003, granted an ex parte application, sacking Chris Ngige as Anambra governor.

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Egbo Egbo was compulsorily retired in January 2004.

Apart from the approved substituted service, Justice Obile also granted an order, abridging the time within which the defendants may enter an appearance and file their respective counter-affidavit or other processes in reaction to the plaintiffs’ claim.

The matter was adjourned until today, Wednesday, 24 June, for the hearing of the motion on notice.

Parties are, however, likely to be back in court on Tuesday, for the hearing of the prayer in the motion ex parte.

Defendants in the matter are; Prince Uche Secondus, Emmanuel Ogidi, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, Chief Debekeme Boyleyefa, Senator James Manager, Hon. Ajibola Muraina, Peoples Democratic Party, Godwin Obaseki and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The plaintiff/applicant is asking the court for an interim injunction restraining all the defendants, from allowing Obaseki or “any member or non-member other than those that have purchased forms and were screened within the time stated in the said Timetable, to contest the party’s primary election”.

 

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