BREAKING: Rivers PDP governorship primaries continue In breaking news, the court has decided not to halt the PDP governorship primary in Rivers.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primary election for governor in Rivers State was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, but the Federal High Court in Abuja declined on Wednesday to halt the election.
BREAKING: Rivers PDP governorship primaries continue
A detained candidate for governorship in the state, Hon. Farah Dagogo, submitted an ex-parte plea for stoppage of the primary poll. The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, rejected the application and ruled that the primary election will proceed as scheduled.
It is important to remember that Hon. Dagogo, who is now serving as a member of the House of Representatives for the Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency, was taken into custody and arraigned after the Rivers state government issued a warrant for his arrest.
He is currently being tried on two counts, one of which is borderline conspiracy to conduct a felony, and the other of which is accused sponsorship of cultism in the state.
However, the detained federal lawmaker, who had since pleaded not guilty to the charge, approached the high court through his team of lawyers, alleging a deliberate attempt to deny him the opportunity to participate in the governorship primary election of the party. He had been held in custody since pleading not guilty to the charge.
The plaintiff, in addition to filing a substantive suit with the filing number FHC/ABJ/CS/654/2022, also submitted an ex-parte application in which he prayed the court to issue an interim injunction restraining the party from proceeding with the scheduled governorship primary election without the inclusion of his name in the list of aspirants. This application was marked with the filing number FHC/ABJ/CS/654/2022.
In addition to this, he requested an order of interlocutory injunction that would prevent the PDP from utilizing any candidate list that did not include his name in order to run the primary election on May 26. This request was made until the hearing and determination of the main litigation.
In addition, an order was issued prohibiting the Independent National Electoral Commission, also known as INEC, from accepting any candidate who would emerge from a primary election that was held without his participation.
PDP and INEC were named as defendants in the case they were involved in.
In the meantime, Justice Taiwo decided on Wednesday that the plaintiff’s processes that were filed with the court did not disclose any urgency that would warrant the issuance of an ex-parte injunction against the defendants. This decision was made in light of the fact that Justice Taiwo issued his ruling on Wednesday.
The court stated that “ex-parte injunctions are meant for situations of real urgency” and emphasized that it has the power to grant remedy to the plaintiff even after the primary election has been carried out. “Ex-parte injunctions are meant for matters of real urgency,” the court held.
Justice Taiwo made the observation that the plaintiff waited until May 18 to file the ex-parte application for interim injunction, despite the fact that he had initially filed the main claim on May 12.
Following that, the court set the date of June 7 to hear the substantive complaint that Dagogo filed against PDP and INEC.
An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st Defendant/Respondent either by itself or any of its organs howsoever described from parading and or using any list of aspirants for the purposes of conducting the gubernatorial primary election for Rivers State on 26th May 2022 or any other date fixed, without the name of the Plaintiff on the list of contestants for the said primary election pending the hearing and deliberation” was the specific request that the
“An order of interim injunction restraining the 2nd defendant either by itself or any of its offices or agents from accepting any candidate which might emerge from the Rivers State Gubernatorial Primary of the 1st defendant fixed for May 26, 2022 or fixed for another day, where the event has held or has been organized by the 1st defendant, without the participation of the plaintiff, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.” This injunction would be in place until the hearing and determination of the
In addition to that, “an order abridging the time within which the defendants/respondents should answer to both the motion on notice and the substantive complaint.” [Citation needed]
The court had previously issued a summons to the defendants, instructing them to appear before it to show cause as to why the plaintiff’s requested reliefs should not be granted.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), through its attorney Mr. Ken Njemanze, SAN, attempted to get the case thrown out while simultaneously contesting the court’s authority to even hear the case.
In a same vein, the attorney for INEC, Mr. O. A. Abiyemi, pleaded with the court to throw out the complaint on the grounds that it was baseless.