Edo PDP: Court turns down Obaseki candidates’ plea to compel INEC to accept them as constituting the authentic list
By theconclaveng – July 4, 20220181
A Federal High Court, sitting in Benin City, on Monday, refused the prayer of one Hon. Mathew Iduoriyekemwen and others, to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting candidates produced by the Chief Dan Orbih faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state.
The defendants in the suit are INEC and the PDP.
Iduoriyekemwen and others, acting as the plaintiffs, in an exparte motion, prayed the court to restrain the electoral umpire from accepting the list of candidates sent to it by the national secretariat of the party as ordered by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The plaintiffs had prayed the court to compel INEC and PDP to show cause why their names (plaintiffs) should not be accepted as candidates for the next year election.
The plaintiffs laboured in vain to convince the court to accept them as the authentic PDP candidates in the National Assembly (senatorial and House of Reps) elections coming up in 2023
In a short ruling, the court held that it cannot stop INEC from carrying out its constitutional responsibilities.
It, however, instructed that the status quo be maintained by the electoral body, which had already received and accepted the list of candidates from the camp of the Chief Orbih, the National Vice Chairman, South-South and past chairman of the party in the state.
The accepted candidates emerged from the primary election monitored by INEC.
The court also granted leave for the Legacy PDP (the authetic PDP inspired by Orbih) to be joined in the suit as requested by its lawyers.
The trial judge said the law was clear on the matter and asked INEC to maintain stutus quo pending the determinnation of the matter.
The court adjourned the matter to 18th July, 2022, for hearing on the substantive suit.
Recall, there were parallel congresses in Edo State in April 2022 which also produced two different sets of candidates – from Chief Orbih (legacy PDP) and the other from Governor Godwin Obaseki’s camp.
Since Obaseki joined the party from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2020 battle has been raging over who controls the structure of the party in the state.
Orbih’s group has held on to the structure while Obaseki and his co-travellers from the APC have tried to no avail to seize the structure.