Cross River Primaries: APC asks court to strike out Usani’s case

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked an Abuja High Court to strike out a suit instituted by the Minister of Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, asking the court to declare him the party’s governorship candidate in the Cross River state.

In the suit no: CV/3009/18, Usani joined the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial District, John Owan Enoh as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.

Usani in the originating summon filled by his counsel,  Mr Oba Maduabuchi, SAN, also asked the court for a declaration that ‘’ the claimant is the validly elected and authentic governorship candidate of the 1st defendant in Cross River state in view of the primary election held on 30th September, 2018 wherein the claimant scored the highest number of votes.

“A declaration that the declaration of the 1st defendant acting through its chairman of the 3rd defendant who came second in the governorship primaries in Cross River is illegal , unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that having been declared the winner of the governorship primary of 30th September, 2018 in Cross River state, only the name of the claimant should be forwarded by the 1st defendant to the 2nd defendant to the 2nd defendant as the 1st defendant’s governorship candidate’’.

But in his notice of preliminary objection, the counsel to the APC, Barrister Gani Arobo, asked the court to strike out the suit because the 1st defendant has no case to answer in the matter.

He argued that the primary that produced Usani was not conducted by the National Secretariat of the APC, which was constitutionally empowered to do so, and declared that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter because the 1st defendant was wrongly joined as a party in the suit.

“The court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain this matter against the 1st defendant as presently constituted for reason that the 1stdefendant was wrongly joined as a party as it is not (by the admission of the claimant) privy to the alleged primaries conducted by the claimant, his cronies, associates and or subordinates on September 30, 2018 and therefore, be bound by the outcome of such a process which it neither authorised nor partook in. The name of the 1st defendant /applicant out to be struck out’’, he argued.

The presiding Judge, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi however adjourned the matter sine die to allow him rule on the preliminary objection raised by the counsel to the 1st defendant.

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