Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State scaled another legal hurdle yesterday as the Federal High Court in Owerri, the Imo State capital struck out the case brought against his candidacy by a former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Chief Timi Alaibe.
The court ruled that the case lack merit and dismissed it.
In his judgment yesterday, Justice T.G. Ringim dismissed most of the prayers of the plaintiff for failing to prove his case beyond all reasonable doubt.
Justice Ringim also stressed that the first defendant failed to prove that the PDP wrongly nominated the second defendant (Diri) as the validly elected candidate of the party.
He, however, explained that the plaintiff’s application was not status barred because he met the time frame from the primary to the period he challenged the matter. According to him, “every primary election matter should be filed not later than 14 days after the primary.”
The judge stated that the case was an internal affair of the party and further submitted that the plaintiff was incompetent to ask the first defendant to conduct a fresh primary having conducted the party’s primary on September 3, 2019 in accordance with the laid down rules of the party.
Pro-Diri Protesters Demand Alaibe’s Expulsion
While the case was being heard in Imo, some protesters stormed the PDP national secretariat demanding for the expulsion of Alaibe from the party.
The protesters, who arrived at the party secretariat by 10am, accused Alaibe of plotting to work against the party because his case in court challenging the emergence of Diri as PDP candidate was not going to materialise.
Under the aegis of PDP National Youth Rebirth Forum, the protesters carried placards with the inscriptions, “Timi Alaibe is APC agent, Diri Duoye must stay”; “Bayelsa is for PDP, PDP must act now”; “PDP Act now, PDP beware of Timi Alaibe, Expel Timi Alaibe now.”
The group led by its national president, Bonire Solomon, was led to submit their protest letter in the office of the party’s national leadership.
The letter titled: “Bayelsa PDP Primary Ticket Crisis: Expel Timi Alaibe now to forestall a repeat of Kogi outcome,” was addressed to the party’s national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
While addressing newsmen after submitting the petition, Solomon expressed concern over the ongoing court case instituted by the Alaibe, saying it is a threat to the party.
Solomon said: “The ongoing court case if not quickly handled and decisively too, has strong potential to derail the party in Bayelsa or, God forbid, can make the party lose out entirely if not settled immediately.
“That our great party, PDP is currently an opposition party in Nigeria, under a government that has propensity for intimidating the judiciary with clear past experiences for our party to learn from,” he said,
In his reaction, Alaibe said that the issues raised by the protesters were in court.
Alaibe said that he “will keep quiet for now and allow the court to do its work.”