An Edo State High Court has refused to grant an interim injunction seeking to restrain the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and its National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu from allowing the ad hoc delegates that emerged from the party’s ward congress held last Saturday across all the wards in Edo State. The action was instituted by one Mr. Eghe Adun, an old PDP member believed to be loyal to the South South Vice Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih.
Listed as defendants in the case with suit number HAB/46/2022 are the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Dr Tony Aziegbemi and His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki. The court sitting in Abudu refused to countenance the ex-parte application, but deferred hearing in the matter to the 12th of May 2022. The party primaries which the ex-parte order, if granted, would have prevented comes up on Saturday the 7th of May, 2022.
In a similar vein, one Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama member representing Oredo in the House of Representatives sponsored a similar suit at the Federal High Court Abuja, with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/598/2022. The Plaintiffs in the said suit, seeking an ex-parte injunction are Hon. Monday Iyore Osagie, Hon. Reuben Ikponmwan Ekhosuehi, Hon. Adeyanba Michael Osaro, Hon. Magdalene Omosigho, Hon. Imariagbe Destiny Oghogho, who claim to bring the suit on behalf of the 576 ad hoc delegates elected on 30 April 2020. They are seeking to restrain the PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, Senator Sam Anyanwu, Hon. Umar Bature and INEC from acting on any list that does not include their names for the purpose of the party primaries of the 7th of May 2022. Due to administrative constraints the matter which was filed on the 4th of May 2022 is yet to be assigned to a court by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
It will be recalled that a faction of the PDP in Edo State headed by Chief Dan Orbih expressed their dissatisfaction with the outcome of the Congress to elect 3 ad hoc delegates for the State and National Assembly primaries. To avert the legal action in court, which Orbih and his supporters threatened, a three-man Electoral Appeal Panel was set-up by the national leadership of the party. On Tuesday the 3rd of April 2022, the Chairman and two other members of the Appeal Panel arrived Benin City to address grievances arising from the congress held across the 192 wards in Edo State to elect 576 adhoc delegates ahead of the party primaries.
Addressing party members at the PDP Secretariat in Benin City, Chairman of the Edo PDP Ward Congresses Electoral Appeal Panel, Sen. Chukwuka Utazi, said the committee has commenced work, promising to ensure justice for all aggrieved parties.
Utazi said, “I am here this morning with other members of the Ward Congresses Electoral Appeal Panel of PDP for Edo State to interact with any aggrieved individual following the adhoc delegates election conducted on Saturday. We urge party members with issues of any sort and complaints as a consequence of that election to approach this panel to look into the matter. The bedrock of our party politics is fair hearing; fair hearing means that if somebody is aggrieved, he or she will approach the party appeal panel to look at his or her matter and at the end of the day, we will find a lasting solution to that and make sure everybody is happy.”
He continued: “We, as members of the PDP, are conscious of the challenges facing us. We are also conscious of the expectations of Nigerians of this great party and are rising to that occasion by making sure that we put our house in order so as to face those challenges.
“So, on behalf of the electoral appeal panel that is here today, we want to assure all party members in Edo under the PDP umbrella that we are here to listen to you and make sure that we ensure justice for all and at the end of the day, everybody will be happy.
“We want a united PDP in Edo, and that is why the PDP National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, on behalf of the National Working Committee, sent three of us here from different backgrounds and states to look at those issues. We are waiting to receive petitions; put it in writing and bring it to Edo PDP Secretariat.”
Reassuring the timely hearing of the petitions, the panel chair noted, “When we collect this petition today, if you are timely about the submission today, we will commence listening to the petition today with a view to address those issues. Once we tidy everything here today, we will give our report to the national headquarters of our party in Abuja. We hope that by the time we are through, the party here in Edo will remain united, solid and indivisible.”