A Federal High Court in Abuja Thursday stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising or accepting ad-hoc delegates produced by the governor Godwon Obaseki’s faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Edo state.
The court declared the ad-hoc delegates produced by Dan Orbih’s faction of the party as the authentic, and must be recognised and accepted.
Delivering judgement, in a suit instituted by 581 delegates elected on April 30th, Justice Nyang Ekwo held that PDP and other defendants in the suit are bound by Section 84 (5) of the electoral Act 2022 as well as Section 15 of the PDP constitution relating to delegates elections.
The 581 delegates instituted the suit marked FHC/Abj/ CS/598/2022 through their five representatives Honourable Monday Osagie, Hon.Reuben Ekhosuehi, Hon. Adeyqnba Osaro, Hon. Magdalene Osawe and Hon Imariabe Oghogho.
Defendants in the suit are PDP, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, Umar Bature and INEC as 1st to 5th defendants respectively.
The Plaintiffs in their suit argued by Dr. John Musa, SAN had asked the court to determine whether PDP in view of Section 84 (5) of the electoral Act 2022 and Section 15 of the PDP constitution can jettison their election monitored by INEC for another one conducted in violation of the provisions of the relevant laws.
They also asked the court to determine whether the defendants can on their own jettisoned the authentic delegates for others whose purported election is unknown to any law.
In his judgement, Justice Ekwo after scruitinising the documentary evidence including the report of INEC on its monitoring of the April 30, 2022 delegates election agreed with the Plaintiffs that they were validly and legally elected as the authentic ad-hocs delegates for Edo State chapter of the PDP.
The court held that the role of INEC in primary election monitoring, congress and conventions are statutory and constitutional and, must therefore adhere to strictly by all political parties.
The court said that going against the elections of the plaintiffs will amount to a brazing violation of laws that are not ambiguous, an action which no court must allow to stand.
Justice Ekwo therefore issued an order of injunction against 1st to 4th defendants restraining them from tampering with the Plaintiffs list having been duly elected in the Congress of the party held on April 30th.
The court also issued order of perpetual injunctions against the 1st to 4th defendants stopping them from conducting any congress with the purpose of replacing the plaintiffs.
Justice Ekwo issued a mandatory order of injunction against INEC stopping it from recognizing or accepting any delegates list order than the one produced by PDPs congress of April 30th where plaintiffs emerged as ad-hocs delegates.
The plaintiffs were elected from 18 LGAs of the State for the purpose of electing national delegates for the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senatorial elections.