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Home Politics Politics Today A/Ibom PDP primary: Court slates Feb 21 to rule on PDP, INEC’s applications

A/Ibom PDP primary: Court slates Feb 21 to rule on PDP, INEC’s applications

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By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

An Abuja Federal High Court on Wednesday, fixed February 21, 2011, to rule on applications challenging a suit filed by a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom state, Frank Okon Daniel, seeking a court order restraining Governor Godswill Akpabio, from parading himself as the duly nominated candidate of the party in the recently concluded primary election in the state.
Daniel, who sued Akpabio, alongside the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is challenging his exclusion from the PDP primaries conducted on January 9, 2011 in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.
At the resumed hearing, Counsel representing PDP, Olusola Oke, asked the court to strike out Daniel’s suit, on the ground that, it had no reasonable cause of action, saying, the plaintiff had sought for internal redress, for the wrong he is seeking to be addressed, by the court.
“The plaintiff cannot come to court challenging an election, which was nullified and a re-run was conducted, based on his petition. The matter was settled in his favour as such, there is no cause of action,” he said.
Counsel to Akpabio, Paul Usoro (SAN) also, urged the court to dismiss the suit, saying, it was academic in nature and does not deserve any judicial time.
Usoro said, the suit was based on the primaries, which was held on January 9, 2011 and was nullified, based on a petition written by the plaintiff, adding that, the suit, if heard, would amount to a waste of the court’s time and urged the court to dismiss it.
Opposing both applications however, Counsel to the plaintiff, Andem Ndem, said, the suit was beyond the cancellation of the primary election, which held on January 9, saying, it was an invitation to the court, to see whether or not the party complied with its constitution as well as the Nigerian Constitution, when it nullified the primary elections.
Ndem argued that, the suit was not an academic exercise, as claimed by the respondents, but, involved a serious constitutional matter, which required the attention of the court.
The trial Judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati, adjourned till February 21, 2011 to rule on the preliminary objections.

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