Court Orders INEC, PDP to Recognise Kashamu’s Delegates’ List

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Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta

The intra-party crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken another dimension as a Federal High Court, sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital, yesterday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Uche Secondus-led National leadership of the party to accept the list of candidates and delegates submitted to them by the Adebayo Dayo-led Ogun State Executive Committee of the PDP, in preparation for the 2019 general election.

The court had earlier ruled on a motion for interlocutory injunction after listening to the arguments canvassed by the counsel to the Ogun State PDP Executive, Mr. Ricky Tarfa (SAN), who noted that the court had on September 28, 2018, ordered that the defendants should be put on notice and adjourned till October 2, 2018, for definite hearing of the motion for interlocutory injunction.

Tarfa said he was ready to move the motion because all the parties had been served and the court was bound by its records.

The Honourable Justice M. Abubakar Shittu went through the court’s file and noted that the court was satisfied from the proof of service and affidavit in support that all the defendants had been duly served but for reasons best known to them, failed to file any document in opposition to the plaintiffs’ claims. He said they also did not send in any legal representation despite standing down the case for hours.

After standing down the matter for hours, the court resumed sitting and in a brief ruling delivered afterwards, it held that the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs, having not been controverted, were granted as prayed.

The reliefs, among others, include: “An interim order directing the 1st Defendant, (INEC), to accept or process only the list of candidates of the PDP for the 2019 general election in Ogun State authenticated by the plaintiffs as having emerged from primaries conducted by them for the House of Assembly, House of Representatives, senatorial and governorship elections and submitted by the Plaintiffs or their authorizsed nominees, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

“An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st Defendant, (INEC), by itself, servants, officials, agents or privies from accepting, processing or publishing the name/s of any person/s purporting to be a nominated candidate/s of the PDP from Ogun State for the House of Assembly, House of Representatives, senatorial or governorship election except those who emerge from primary elections constituted by delegates authenticated by the Plaintiffs, convened and conducted by the plaintiffs for the election/nomination of 2nd Defendant’s candidates in Ogun state pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the 2nd – 4th Defendants PDP, Secondus and National Secretary Ibrahim Tsauri, from convening, conducting or organising a National Convention of the PDP for the nomination of the presidential candidate of the party without the authentic delegates from Ogun State listed in Schedule A attached to this originating summons (as authenticated and accredited by the Plaintiffs) in attendance and voting, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st Defendant (INEC) by itself, its members, employees, servants, agents or privies from accepting, processing and or publishing (for the purpose of the 2019 general elections) the name of any person purporting to be the nominated presidential candidate of the PDP (notwithstanding that such a name is submitted by the National Executive Committee of the PDP or persons claiming to act for it) when such a person claiming to be the Presidential candidate of the PDP is a product of any National Convention convened, organized and/or conducted by the 2nd to 4th Defendants(PDP, Secondus and National Secretary Ibrahim Tsauri) or persons claiming to act for them, without the authentic delegates from Ogun State including the Applicants herein and others listed in Schedule A attached to the originating summons (as authenticated and accredited by the Plaintiffs) in attendance and votingpending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the 1stDefendant (INEC) by itself, its members, employees, servants, agents or privies from accepting, processing and or publishing (for the purpose of the 2019 general elections) the name/s of any person/s purporting to be (a) nominated candidate/s of the PDP from Ogun State or presidential candidate of the PDP (notwithstanding that such nomination is submitted by the National Executive Committee of the PDP or persons claiming to act for it) when such person/s claiming to be candidates of the PDP for the general elections is/are (a) product/s of any unity list or consensus arrangement which bypasses the prescribed electoral process of the PDP, particularly the electoral colleges constituted by delegates including the Ogun state delegates listed in Schedule A attached to this originating summons(as authenticated and accredited by the Plaintiffs) in attendance and votingpending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

The court, however, adjourned hearing in the substantive suit till the 7th of November, 2018.