A Federal high court in Abuja, on Friday, ordered the All Progressives Congress (APC) to suspend plans towards adopting an indirect primary for the nominations of its candidate for the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Kogi State.
While ruling on an ex parte application by four members of the factional Executive Committee of the party in the state, the presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo ordered parties to the suit “to maintain status quo” until the main suit touching on the propriety of adopting indirect mode of the primary would be resolved by the court.
The plaintiffs in the suit are Destiny Aromeh, Isah Abubakar, Noah Aku and Joy Onu who belong to the Haddy Ametuo-led executive committee of the party in Kogi State, while the APC is the sole respondent in the suit.
The other faction in the party is the incumbent governor Yahaya Bello’s loyalists.
Meanwhile, the party was not represented at the last ex parte hearing, as only the applicants’ side was heard.
During the hearing, Justice Taiwo ordered the plaintiffs to serve the papers filed in the suit on the defendant, who must also file all necessary responses before the next hearing.
Their lawyer, Mr. Oluwole Aladedoye (SAN), while moving his clients’ ex parte application, asked the court to issue the “order of interim injunction restraining the defendant (APC)” from adopting “the indirect mode of primary for the nomination of its governorship candidate in the forthcoming 2019 governorship election in Kogi State”.
He argued that there was an urgent need for the restraining order to be issued to pave the way for direct primary which would allow all card-carrying members of the party to vote.
He said if the National Working Committee of the party was not restrained, the party would go ahead to adopt an indirect primary and his clients, not being the faction recognised by the national leadership of the party, would be “shut out” and not allowed to vote as delegates at the primary.
Aladedoye noted that the National Working Committee of the party adopted the indirect primary for Kogi State election in disregard to a pending suit on the disputed leadership of the party in the state.
Meanwhile, Justice Taiwo has since adjourned further hearing till July 19 to enable him to dispense with the suit ahead of the party’s primary scheduled to hold on August 29.
The judge has equally ordered an accelerated hearing in the suit.