The federal high court sitting in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice Stephen Daylop-Pam has reserved judgement on the case brought by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Accord National Assembly candidates in Rivers State over alleged non compliance to electoral guidelines.
After listening to arguments of counsel to PDP and Accord, the addresses were adopted and the case was adjourned to a date that will be communicated to both parties.
In the same vein, the case brought by the PDP against Accord Governorship candidate, Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs was adjourned to 25th of November, 2022 for definite hearing .
In an interview with Journalists outside the court room, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) the counsel to Chief Dumo Lulu who also doubles as counsel to National Assembly candidates for the Accord said, “As you observe two cases came up in court.
One has to do with Accord candidates for National Assembly and then the Governorship candidate of Accord in Rivers State .Both of them are supposed to be ripe .We took the one for National Assembly.
“Parties have adopted final addresses including the preliminary objection to the suit. Judgement is reserved.
The only dimension to it, is that in that case there are some interlocutory appeals that have already been argued in the court of appeal and the outcome may also be relevant to eventual outcome of this .
So the court is also aware of that.
“The Governorship pre-election matter filed by PDP against our candidate which was filed, there, were issues of service on some processes by INEC counsel. They were regularize today .But the plaintiff still requested time for them to respond.
“When we are back next week by God’s grace on the 25th, we are going to take the substantive case in Governorship pre-election filed by PDP against our candidate’s nomination which has nothing to do with his qualification.
“Is all about some delegates that voted by the consensus primary where our candidate emerged. So we are due back here on the 25th of this month for hearing of Governorship pre-election”.
In an interview with Journalists, counsel to PDP, Dike Udenna said, “well, the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt took arguments in respect of the matter between PDP against INEC and Accord political party.
“The case is the one where the PDP is asking the court to direct INEC to remove the names of the Accord party candidates for Senate and reps on the grounds that they are not eligible to contest the election.
The principal complain in the matter is that the Accord party held the congresses (primaries) for the nomination of those candidates outside the various constituencies.
“Under the law, we believe that renders it invalid. INEC knew about it, INEC published a report where they made it clear, that they were aware that the primaries held outside the constituencies.
“INEC has no right to then include the names of candidates who did not comply, whose political party did not comply with the requirement of the law. So that is all the matter that was taken today.
The matter has now be reserved for judgement to be delivered in a date that will be communicated to all parties .
“On the case brought against the Governorship Candidate of Accord by PDP, Dike Udenna said, the Governorship matter was supposed to be for hearing this morning but INEC showed up today asking for extension of time to enable them file a defence.
Their application was taken. Their defence has now been filled. We are entitled to three days to respond to the defence now filed by INEC in respect of the matter”.