Edo guber: A’Court sets aside order restraining APC from conducting primary election

By Jethro Ibileke

An order by the Federal High Court, in Benin, restraining the All Progressives Congress (APC), from conducting any mode of primary election to nominate its governorship candidate in Edo state, has been set aside by the Benin Division of Court of Appeal.

The lower court had restrained the APC and its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, from conducting any mode of primary election in the state, pending the determination of the suit filed.

Following the restraining order, the Federal High Court transferred the suit to the Court of Appeal, while the order subsists, pending the decision of the appellate court.

In one of the appeals, the three-man panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Morenike Ogunwoniju, vacated the order and returned them to the lower court (Federal High Court), so they can go ahead with the substantive originating summons.

But, in a dissenting judgement, Justice Moore Adumien, said the preliminary objection has merit, because the appeal is clearly an interlocutory appeal, which is not recognised in pre-election matter.

According to Justice Adumien, “the relief is not concise, precise and it is very ambiguous. The court can not grant a relief the party has not asked for.

“A court of law is confined to the relief sought by the parties. In this case, the court has to decide in facts presented before it.”

The appellants, the APC and its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and the National Working Committee.

They had instituted an appeal challenging the stay of execution order granted by the federal high court on June 8, restraining them from conducting direct mode of primary election in the state.

The respondents are Kenneth Asekomhe, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Inspector-General of Police.

In a related development, the court struck out the other appeal filed by Adams Oshiomhole, because the issues in the appeal border on the substantive state of the matter and can not delve into that now pending the hearing and determination of the federal high court.

The three-man panel unanimously dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.

According to them, “we are not going to dabble into substance presented before the lower court. It is premature and should be struck out.”