In another twist the Governor of Edo State and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, will participate in Thursday June 25 primaries of the party ahead of September governorship election in the state.
This is as a result of a High Court of Justice in Ekpoma Judicial Division, Edo State restrained the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others from removing, preventing or purporting to exclude the Edo State Governor, Obaseki, or any other aspirant, who have been cleared by the party, from participating in the gubernatorial primaries.
The Judge, J. O. Okeaya-Inneh, ruling in a suit filed by Felix Irioh and Tom Irehobhude, said in a ruling that:
“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 further added that:
“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 defendants in the suit are Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, the PDP, Hon. Andy Ikhajiangbe, Peter Akhimien and INEC.
The applicants sought “an Order of Interim Injunction restraining INEC from however refusing to recognize and/or accept the name of any of the aspirants named in paragraph 2 above especially Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki as lawful aspirants having been lawfully screened and cleared by the 2nd Defendant to participate in the 2nd primary election scheduled to hold on the 25th June, 2020 in any report of the monitoring of the said primaries pending the hearing of the Motion On Notice.”
The judge adjourned the matter to July 1, 2020, for hearing of pending applications.
The order documents below:
We shouldn’t forget that earlier on Gov. Obaseki was ban via an order given on 22nd June, 2020, by Justice E. A. Obile of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.
The order was based on a motion Ex-Parte filed by a PDP member, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama.
Joined in the suit are Prince Uche Secondus, the PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Chairman of the party’s screening committee, Kingsley Chinda and other members of the committee.
Obaseki, an APC renegade, was named as the eighth defendant in the case.
The applicant dought for a court order to restrain Secondus and the party from allowing Obaseki to buy the forms for the primary, other than those who bought the forms within the timetable initially published for the election.
Justice Obile granted the interim injunction as requested.
The PDP, mindful of the legal minefield announced a waiver for Obaseki, to enable him to participate in the primary election, even though he joined the party only on Friday 19 June last week.
The party also reconvened the Chinda screening committee which had ended its assignment on 5th June, 2020 and the committee screened Obaseki on Saturday 20 June.
And all the parties in the suit had been served with the earlier order via substituted means.
With this new Court Order from the Edo State High Court, we now have two conflicting order of court of coordinate jurisdiction in display, this is a ticking time bomb for both PDP and Obaseki in the long run and this political roller-coaster if care is not taken will only lead to further complications, which end result will be devastating.
Hopefully, the governor will avoid the banana peels in the end.