An Ekpoma Judicial Division High Court judge in Edo State has restrained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others, from “removing, preventing or purporting to exclude the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki or any of other aspirants who have been cleared by the party from participating in the gubernatorial primary slated for 25th June 2020.”
Justice J. O. Okeaya-Inneh gave the ruling in a suit filed by Felix Irioh and Tom Irehobhude. He said, ” I find in my humble view that the applicants have satisfied the guidelines for the grant of the orders sought as enjoined in the celebrated landmark case of Kotoye v CBN (1989), 1 NWLR PT. 98, 419 at 441.”
The judge added, “The balance of convenience is in favour of the 1st and 2nd applicants and there is no undue delay in bringing this application. It is in that light that I find merit in this application.”
The ruling is in direct contrast to another ruling by a federal High court Judge in Port Harcourt, who had, in an expert order, restrained the Edo State Governor from taking part in the primary election. The judge had also ordered INEC not to recognize Obaseki as a candidate in the primary election of the PDP.
Justice Emmanuel Adema Obile had adjourned the matter to June 24th for hearing of the motion on notice, which was filed by one of the gubernatorial aspirants, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who has insisted he would not step down for Governor Obaseki.
PDP petitions NJC over Judge.
Meanwhile the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has petitioned the national Judicial Council over the Federal High Court Judge, Justice Emmanuel Adema Obile for granting the order restraining Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki from taking part in the party’s gubernatorial primary scheduled for Thursday, June 25th.
One of the governorship aspirants on the platform of the PDP, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, had in a motion asked the court to stop Obaseki from contesting in the primary election, citing many reasons including the time-frame within which the governor has been a member of the PDP.
Justice Obile, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, then asked that defendants, Obaseki, PDP and others be served via newspaper publication and adjourned to June 24th.
The PDP in a letter dated June 23, addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, Mohammed Tanko, asked that the judge be sanctioned accusing him of not approaching the matter with circumspection. The party asked that the Judge be disciplined and the case reassigned to a Federal High Court Judge in Abuja arguing that the case should have been heard in the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court since that is where the PDP headquarters is and that’s where the screening of candidates took place and not Port Harcourt , where Justice Obile’s court is based.