Rivers Accord Case: Court Reserves Ruling On Joinder As PDP Sues State Assembly Candidates

…Case Adjourned To September 23

Justice Stephen Daylop-Pam of Federal High Court 4 on Tuesday reserved ruling on Joinder and striking out of defendants in a case brought by Peoples Democratic Party against INEC, Accord party and National Assembly candidates.

The judge after listening to arguments from the counsel, plaintiff and defendants, reserved ruling on joinder and striking out of defendants to September 23,2022.

PDP’s counsel, Den Wigwe (SAN), told newsmen outside the court that after they filed their suit against Accord party, they said they produced new set of candidates all together and PDP is saying those ones should be joined in the suit so, that they can have an opportunity of being heard before deciding the case .

Wigwe said PDP believed that the presence of the new set of candidates will affect their position on the matter.

Counsel to Accord’s National Assembly candidates, Owonikoko Abiodun (SAN) in an interview with journalists outside the court room, said: “On our own part, we needed to regularize our response to the main suit which because of lack of proof of service the last time, was adjourned till today. So the court has taken that application and has granted it. So all our responses and defense to the suit are in “.

On his part, counsel to Accord, Abdulameed Mohammed (SAN) said: “We filed an application and the plaintiff responded to the it.

What we are saying is that they sued Accord Party and we said that such name is unknown to us and is unknown to law and we say that the name (Accord Party) should be struck out from the suit and we exhibited the certificate of incorporation duly certified by INEC that name is not known to any person.  It’s like you are suing nobody.

So we are asking the court to strike it out and the judge adjourned for ruling”.

Meanwhile the Guber candidate of Accord in Rivers State, Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs who was in court described the action of PDP as misnomer.

Chief Lulu Briggs likened the action of PDP to a falling ‘Goliath’, adding that it was a deliberate plot by the PDP to distract Accord during the political campaign which is drawing close.

Chief Dumo maintained that Accord and its candidates cannot be distracted and Rivers people will have an opportunity to elect people who will represent them at all levels.

Meanwhile, the PDP in Rivers State has once more sued the State House of Assembly candidates of Accord for alleged non compliance to electoral guidelines in conduct of party primaries after suing the party and its National Assembly candidates.

Justice Adamu Turaki Mohammed of Federal High Court 5 adjourned the case to September 23, 2022 after listening to arguments from the plaintiff and defendants counsel on whether there was a proper service on the defendants.

Speaking to the press outside the court room, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) counsel to the 3rd to 27th defendants (Accord State House of Assembly Candidates) said: “We have to come in obedience and respect for the court not withstanding that there have not been proper service or actual service on some of our clients and on getting to court today, the court checked if indeed we were served.

Record of the court indicated that an order of service was made but there were issues whether we were served.

“Since we all have duty of cooperation in matters of this nature, the other side offered to effect proper service on us and we indeed accepted service. Effectively now we are in the case for the 3rd to 27th defendants.

“In the next adjourned date we will have our appropriate response. The defendants are actually candidates for party State House of Assembly in Rivers State. The case was adjourned to September 23, 2022 for appearance”.

Abdulameed Mohammed (SAN) counsel to Accord while speaking to journalists, said: “This is a suit that is very unusual by a political party called PDP challenging the primaries of other political party, Accord.

“We look at the processes. We are objecting to the jurisdiction of the court. The competence of the suit and the competence of the court to entertain the suit the suit.

“We filed notice of preliminary objection to serve them and they reacted, we filed counter affidavit and you can see this morning when we trying to highlight what we filled.

There are other processes which we applied to INEC which we obtained. We need to file further affidavits in reaction to the originating summon.

So this is where we are. We are hopeful that this matter will be dismissed”.

Dike Udenna, counsel to PDP said the grouse of the matter is that the primary conducted by Accord Party is not in compliance to electoral guidelines as the elections for the state house of Assembly did not hold in the respective constituency but was held in one venue.

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