A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, has mandated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to transmit the names of the candidates that emanated from its primary held on May 28 and 29, 2022 to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) without delay.
Justice Fatun Riman gave the order in his judgement in a suit marked: “FHC/AI/CS/105/2022” brought by Chief Chukwuma Odii Ifeanyi against the PDP, INEC and Senator Obinna Joseph Ogba.
The court also ordered INEC, its agents, servants and workmen among others from recognising, in any manner whatsoever, the purported primary elections allegedly held by the PDP in Ebonyi State on the 4th and 5th of June, this year.
By the judgement, Ifeanyi is now the legally recognised PDP governorship candidate in the state. The court further granted a declaration that the PDP could not have held any valid House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate primaries in Ebonyi State on 4/6/2022 and 5/6/2022 and Governorship primary election on 5/6/2022 in Ebonyi State.
Justice Riman has consequently set aside the governorship election primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Ebonyi State, held on 4th and 5th of June 2022 as well as the Governorship primary election on 5th June, 2022 in Ebonyi State.
Describing the process leading to the 4th and 5th of June this year’s governorship election primaries as unconstitutional, the court set aside the primary elections of the House of Assembly, House of Representatives, and Senate of the party.
Justice Riman in his judgement in the suit, categorically said over 90 percent of the 3-man ward ad-hoc delegates of the PDP did not participate in the said date, adding that it was also not monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Joined as defendants in the suit were PDP, INEC and Ogba.
The plaintiff, had in the suit approached the court, sitting in Abakaliki, the state capital, to set aside the primary elections.
After considering the processes filed by parties and submissions of counsel in the matter, the court held, “It is hereby ordered as follows: That a declaration that the purported House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate and governorship primary elections of the party held on 4/6/2022 and 5/6/2022 is unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever, for offending the provisions of the said extant Acts, referred to above and the valid and subsistence order of a court of competent jurisdiction is granted.”
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had ordered the retrial of an initial Federal High Court judgment which affirmed Ifeanyi’s candidature. With this recent decision, the ordered retrial now becomes academic as all live issues concerned have been addressed in the new judgement.