By TAIYE AGBAJE
ABUJA- A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, dismissed a suit filed by some aggrieved members of Akwa Ibom Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the party over alleged conduct of the state’s primary elections.
Delivering judgment, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, held that the suit lacked merit.
Justice Obiora said that the plaintiffs, having not participated in the elections, lacked the locus standi to institute the suit.
He also agreed with the 2nd defendant (PDP) that the plaintiffs did not exhaust the party’s internal mechanism to resolve the issue before filing the matter.
The judge consequently dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the plaintiffs; Mr Friday Iwok and 30 others, had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP and the elected ad-hoc delegates who emerged from the ward congresses conducted as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/606/2022, the plaintiffs want the court to declare the outcome of the ward congress of the party in Akwa Ibom a nullity.
The development followed the PDP’s ward congress organised on April 30 to elect three ad-hoc delegates that would vote in the party primaries.
The applicants, however, filed a suit, asking the court to set aside the results of the ward congress.
They alleged that no election was conducted to choose the ad-hoc delegates in the state.
The judge, on May 18, made an order directing parties to maintain a status quo ante bellum pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
But despite the order, the PDP, on May 22, conducted its primaries using the said delegates.
The primaries were conducted to elect its candidates for the 2023 House of Assembly and House of Representatives elections.
NAN reports that the applicants had, on May 15, accused the PDP of flouting the order of the court in going ahead with the just-concluded primary polls in the state despite the court order.
The aggrieved members; through their lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN, told Justice Egwuatu that his order made on May 18 was disregarded by the defendants.
Raji, therefore, prayed the court to set aside the primary election which was conducted on May 22, having failed to obey the court order which directed parties to maintain a status quo ante bellum. (NAN)