By Jethro lbileke
Justice Mohammed Umar of Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, on Monday reserved ruling on the mode of primary to be adopted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Edo state governorship primary election slated for June 22, to June 11.
Factional state deputy chairman of the party, Kenneth Asekomhe, and one of the governorship aspirants of the party, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, in the suit number FHC/B/CS/48/2020, are challenging the decision of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), to adopt direct primary election for the nomination of its standard bearer.
Defendants in the suit are APC, Adams Oshiomhole, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inspector-General of Police.
Three other aspirants in the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Pius Odubu and Osaro Obazee through a motion on notice before the court, are also seeking to be joined in the suit as the fifth, sixth and seventh defendants.
The Court however turned down hearing the application, on ground that it was not right for hearing.
The applicants had in an exparte motion, asked the court to restrain the party from adopting the direct mode of primary.
They also prayed the court to restrain INEC from monitoring the primaries, and the Police from giving effect to the NWC’s direct primaries order.
At a resumed hearing on Monday, Counsel to the applicants, Ken Mozia (SAN), said several processes were filed and arguments on the ex parte application for injunction had commenced, and the defendants were ordered to show cause why the injunction should not be granted.
Counsel to the first defendant, H.O Ogbodu (SAN), however raised objection to the court’s jurisdiction at this stage, insisting that it was a political party issue.
He said, “We were ordered to show cause for the application for an injunction by way of ex parte, and we have done that.
“The court has given time to exchange all our processes and then give judgement,”
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed Umar, ordered all parties to exchange processes and maintain status quo on the issue within two days until when hearing is determined.
He subsequently adjourned hearing on all matters in the suit till Thursday, June 11.