By WANDOO SOMBO
ABUJA- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, to challenge the legality of primary elections conducted by the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Benue.
PDP is asking the court to stop INEC from accepting and publishing the names of the governorship and senatorial candidates of the APC for the 2023 general elections in the state.
In multiple suits filed, the PDP and its governorship and senatorial candidates are challenging the credibility of the APC direct primary election that produced its candidates for the 2023 elections in Benue.
In a suit marked “FHC/ABJ/CS/826/2022’’, the PDP and its governorship candidate, Mr Titus Uba are challenging APC’s primary election that produced Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia as its governorship candidate.
In another suit, marked “FHC/ABJ/CS/ 889/2022’’, Gov. Samuel Ortom, Sen. Gabriel Suswam and Sen. Abba Moro are challenging the direct primary election of the APC that produced its candidates for the three senatorial zones in the state.
Listed as defendants in the multiple suits are INEC, Fr. Alia, Mr Terlumun Ikya, Mr Benard Yisa, Mr Mathias Byuan, Mr Godwin Tyoachimin, Mr Michael Aondokaa (SAN) and Sen. Barnabas Gemade.
Others are Rep. Herman Hembe, Mr Anyom Mlanga, Mr Terwase Orbunde, Mr Stephen Lawani, Mr Sam Ode and Prof. Terhemba Shija.
Also listed as defendants are Mr Emmanuel Udende, Mr Titus Zam, Mr Daniel Onjeh, Mr Samuel Zuga, Mr Torngee Malu, Mr David Awunah, Mr Nelson Alapa, Mr Jacob Ajene, Austin Oleho and retired Maj.-Gen. Joseph Eje.
In the originating summons the plaintiffs urged the court to compel INEC not to accept, recognise or publish the names of the APC candidates for the various positions being contested for in the state.
It was dated June 8 and filed by some senior lawyers led by Mr Sebastine Hon (SAN).
The plaintiffs held that the APC candidates should not be recognised because the primary elections that produced them as candidates were conducted in breach of relevant electoral laws.
According to the plaintiffs, this is in violation of Constitutional provisions for the conduct of party primaries.
Meanwhile, the judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, has ordered substituted service of the court processes on the defendants after granting the application moved by Hon, counsel to the plaintiffs.
He adjourned the matter till Aug. 1 for hearing. (NAN)