Court Strikes Out Suit Seeking Disqualification Of PDP Candidates In Forthcoming Election

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A Federal High Court sitting in Enugu has struck out  a suit seeking the disqualification of all the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidates in Enugu State from taking part in the 2023 elections. 

The case was instituted by the Enugu North Senatorial district candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chika Idoko.

In the suit No: FHC/EN/CS/217/2022, Idoko had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP, and all its candidates in Enugu State to the Federal High court.

He is claiming that the PDP primary election was in contravention of Section 77 of the Electoral Act and should thus be voided, adding that the party should be sanctioned  in line with extant provisions of the Section 84 of the same Act. 

The Plaintiff’s argument is that the ruling party in Enugu state  submitted its membership register to INEC on May 6, 2022, less than 30 days to its primary election, contrary to the provisions of the law.

However, parties in the case had last week adopted their process, including preliminary objections and addresses for the substantive suit.

Counsel to the applicant, Barr. T. Ekpenyong told the Court that the case of his client, (Idoko) pertains to the interpretation of Section 77 of the Electoral Act. 


He said a letter from the first defendant, which was admitted in evidence, showed that the PDP submitted the register in contravention of the Electoral Act.

The plaintiff’s counsel also cited some cases to support his assertion that his client had the locus to file the suit. 

Defendants, including the PDP, its guber candidate, Barr. Peter Mbah, National and State Assembly candidates were represented by Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, Anthony Ani, (SAN), Justina Offia (Mrs.) SAN, Barr. Ogochukwu Onyekwuluje. 

With the exception of the first defendants, INEC, all the other defendants filed preliminary objections. 

The defendants had told the court that whereas the course of action arose on May 6, the plaintiff waited till September to file the court action.

Delivering judgment on the matter Friday, Justice Folashade Giwa- Ogunbanjo,  struck out the case  on the ground that the Plaintiff is not a member of the PDP, did not participate in the said party  primary, and as such, has no locus standi in instituting the suit, which made the matter Statute barredJustice, Ogunbanjo, who resolved five out of the six issues raised in the matter in favor of the Plaintiff, relied on recent  judgments in similar matter delivered  by the nation’s Court of  Appeals.She however, overruled the demand for cost requested by Counsels to the defendants.Our Correspondent reports that there are similar pending cases by opposition parties in the state  against the PDP in same Court 

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