A High Court of Justice in Ekpoma Judicial Division, has restrained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others, from removing, preventing or purporting to exclude the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki or any of other aspirant who has been cleared by the party from participating in the gubernatorial primary slated for 25th June, 2020.
The Judge, J. O. Okeaya-Inneh, ruling in a suit filed by Felix Irioh and Tom Irehobhude, said, “ 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 added, “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.
With the decision, Governor Obaseki has been given the legal green light to participate in the gubernatorial primary. It would be recalled that
Mr Obaseki was granted waiver by the PDP recently after he joined the opposition party from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The suit was instituted by one of the governorship aspirants of the PDP, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who had vowed not to step down for Mr Obaseki.
A major reason stated by Mr Ogbeide-Ihama was that Mr Obaseki recently joined the party and only those who purchased the forms during the stipulated window should be allowed to participate in the primary election.
Just like Mr Obaseki’s former party, the APC, Mr Ogbeide-Ihama also questioned his educational credentials and he also prayed that the primaries be put on hold pending when the court would hear the motion on notice.