Court of Appeal Set Aside FHC’s order Restraining Edo APC from Holding Governorship Direct Primary

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The Court of Appeal in Benin has set aside the order of the Federal High Court from conducting the June 22 Governorship primary using direct mode.

The appellate court also ordered the continuation of the trial at FHC, which will hold on Friday morning brought by the suspended chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on jurisdiction of the court.

On June 8, the Federal High Court presided by Justice Mohammed Umar had restrained the All Progressives Congress from conducting the June 22 governorship primary election in Edo State using direct mode.

But Justice Morenike Ogunwomiju who headed the three-man Justices set aside the order by the lower court, saying the trial judge gave a problematic order that was not sought by the parties.

In the lead judgment in the suit by APC, delivered by Justice Ogunwomiju and backed by Justice Oseji, she said: “The trial judge (Justice Umar) gave a problematic order that was not sought by the parties to the suit. As at the date (June 8) the order was given, the political party (APC in Edo State) had 14 days to organise its governorship primary election. Every judge must be a democrat.

“The appellant (APC) was not given an opportunity to be heard by the trial court. The injunctive order of the trial court of June 8 is hereby set aside. The administrative orders subsist and the issue of jurisdiction should be determined by the trial court.”

In his dissenting judgment in the APC’s suit however, Justice Adumein declared that the injunctive order of FHC ought not to have been set aside, insisting that the appeal was interlocutory, incompetent and should be struck out.

Adumein noted that the trial court did not make any mistake in the matter, in line with Section 285, Sub-section 8 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, adding that court should not decide cases based on sentiments.

In the second suit filed by Oshiomhole, the only judgment was read by Justice Oseji, who declared that the appeal lacked merit and it was premature, thereby striking it out.