Hearing continues in APC’s alleged
By Alex Enumah
Justice Ahmed Mohammed yesterday announced that he would deliver judgment in the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking the disqualification of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu from the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
Defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Pastor Ize-Iyamu.
Justice Mohammed fixed the date after counsel representing parties adopted and argued their respective written addresses for and against the suit.
The court had at the last sitting ruled that ruling in all objections and motions regarding the suit would be delivered during judgment.
When the matter came up yesterday, counsel to Ize-Iyamu, Chief Roland Otaru SAN, informed the court of an application seeking to invite one Hillary Otsu, deponent of the affidavit in support of the PDP’s originating summon.
His request was, however, opposed by Mr. Ken Mozia, SAN, counsel to the plaintiff on account that the earlier order of the court had foreclosed the hearing of any further application.
In urging the court to grant the reliefs sought by his client, Mozia submitted that Ize-Iyamu was not validly nominated as candidate of the APC in the September election hence ought to be disqualified.
INEC’s lawyer, Mrs. Wendy Kuku, in her submission urged the court to dismiss the suit for lacking in merit.
Similarly, counsel to the APC, Mr. Akinlolu Kehinde SAN, prayed the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the suit was tantamount to “Mr. A taking panadol for Mr. B’s headache’.
On his part, Otaru also prayed the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that it had become academic since the primaries had already been conducted and that the plaintiff did not participate in the primaries.
“The plaintiff is simply a meddlesome interloper in another party’s primary election,’’ Otaru submitted.
The trial judge, after listened to arguments from counsel, fixed Dec.29 for judgment noting that the life span of the suit, by law, would terminate on December 30, 2020.
PDP in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/ CS/69/20, is praying the court for an order disqualifying Ize-iyamu from contesting in the September 19 governorship poll on account of not being validly nominated by his party, the APC.
In the suit filed on July 3, 2020, the plaintiff is claiming that Ize-iyamu was not a product of a valid primary election hence, should not be allowed to participate in the forthcoming election.
Although the suit was initially instituted in the Benin Division of the Federal High Court, it was however transferred to the Abuja Division owing to the annual vacation of the Federal High Court.
However following objection by the APC and Ize-Iyamu, the suit was not heard during vacation.
Meanwhile hearing in the suit filed by the APC against Obaseki accusing the governor of forging his academic certificate he submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification for the governorship election continues Thursday.
Justice Mohammed had on Tuesday adjourned till Thursday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 29 for the APC to call its witnesses to prove its allegations of forgery against the governor.
The judge made the order after he declined to grant the request by Obaseki’s lawyer to adjourned proceedings pending the outcome of its appeal against the ruling of the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court.