The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has barred the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing or accepting ad-hocs delegates produced by the Governor Godwin Obaseki’s faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Edo State.
In its verdict, the court declared the Ad-hoc delegates produced by Dan Orbih’s faction of the party as the authentic and must be recognized and accepted.
Delivering judgment in a suit instituted by 581 delegates elected on April 30th, the Presiding Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the PDP and other defendants in the suit are bound by Section 84 (5) of the Electoral Act 2022 as well as Section 15 of the PDP Constitution relating to delegates elections.
In this matter, 581 delegates instituted the suit marked FHC/Abj/ CS/598/2022 in representative capacity.
Their five representatives in the suit are, Monday Osagie, .Reuben Ekhosuehi, Adeyanba Osaro, Magdalene Osawe and Imariabe Oghogho.
The defendants in the suit are; PDP, Iyorchia Ayu,as National Chairman, Samuel Anyanwu, Umar Bature and INEC as 1st to 5th defendants respectively.
The Plaintiffs in their suit argued by Dr. John Musa, SAN had asked the court to determine whether PDP in view of Section 84 (5) of the Electoral Act 2022 and Section 15 of the PDP Constitution can jettison their election monitored by INEC for another one conducted in violation of the provisions of the relevant laws.
They also asked the court to determine whether the defendants can on their own jettison the authentic delegates for others whose purported election is unknown to any law.
Justice Ekwo after scruitinizing the documentary evidence including the report of INEC on its monitoring of the April 30th delegates election, found for the plaintiffs that they were validly and legally elected as authentic Ad-hoc delegates for Edo State chapter of the PDP.
The court also held that the role of INEC in Primary election, Congress and Convention monitoring is statutory and Constitutional and must therefore be strictly adhered to by all political parties.
The court equally maintained that going against the elections of the plaintiffs will amount to a brazen violation of laws that are not ambiguous, an action, which no court must allow to stand.
Justice Ekwo therefore issued an order of injunction against 1st to 4th defendants restraining them from tampering with the Plaintiffs list having been duly elected in the Congress of the party held on April 30th.
The court also issued an order of perpetual injunction against the 1st to 4th defendants stopping them from conducting any other congress with the purpose of replacing the plaintiffs.
In addition, Justice Inyang Ekwo issued a mandatory order of injunction against INEC stopping it from recognizing or accepting any delegates list other than the one produced by PDP’S congress of April 30th where the plaintiffs emerged as Ad-hoc delegates.
The plaintiffs were elected from 18 Local Government Areas of the Edo State for the purpose of electing National delegates for the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senatorial elections.
The defendants under the law, have the right of appeal.