Thursday, June 11, 2020 8:15 pm
By Jethro Ibileke
A Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, on Thursday sustained the order restraining the All Progressives Congress (APC), its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others from conducting any mode of primary election in Edo State.
He however adjourned the matter till June 17, 2020, to rule on the suit filed by Kenneth O. Asekomhe and Hon. Matthew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen.
Defendants in the suit are APC, national chairman of APC, Comrade Oshiomhole, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inspector General of Police.
The plaintiffs are seeking to restrain the defendants from proceeding with the direct mode of primary election to select a candidate to fly the APC’s flag in the September gubernatorial election.
Counsel to the 2nd defendant, Barr. Roland Otaru, argued that the Court lacks the jurisdiction to have given the order of stale of executions on the 8th of June and thus decided to appeal on the matter.
He said the issue of jurisdiction is like a “traffic light” that should be obeyed and that going ahead with the case will amount to judicial reckless.
Otaru prayed the court to hands off on the matter as it has already been appealed at the higher court and that if the higher court decided otherwise, they have no option than to come back to the same court.
On his part, Counsel to the plaintiff, Ken Mozia, informed the Court that he has not been served with the various papers.
He argued that the subject matter being argued has not been ruled upon by the court, and therefore, there is no case of issues of jurisdiction or not coming.
Mozia further argued that time is of the essence and that the court should be given the time to do its job rather than flooding the court with various papers from the court of Appeal.
Having listened to both parties in the arguments, the presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Garba, said the decision earlier reached by the court remains standing pending on the outcome of the court of Appeal.
“Having listened to both parties in this matter, I hereby ordered that the case be transmitted to the court of Appeal and the ruling earlier made subsists.
“That all parties to this suit and their privies are hereby ordered not to do anything or proceed with any action relating to or concerning the procedure to be adopted or used by the 1st defendant to conduct or hold the 1st defendant primary election coming up next as scheduled pending the hearing and determination of this suit; that all applications in this suit and the response of parties shall be heard alongside the Originating Summons.”
“The case has been adjourned to on Wednesday 17th, 2020 for hearings to know what the court of Appeal has to say,” he said.
Meanwhile, an appeal had been filed against the restraining order, which is fixed for determination on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.