Breaking: Court Declines to Halt Rivers PDP Governorship Primaries

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, declined to halt the governorship primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State.

The court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, dismissed an ex-parte application for stoppage of the primary election, which was filed by a detained governorship aspirant in the state, Hon. Farah Dagogo.

It will be recalled that Hon. Dagogo, who is a serving member of the House of Representatives for Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency, was arrested and arraigned after he was declared wanted by the Rivers state government.

He is standing trial on a two-count charge that borders on conspiracy to commit felony and alleged sponsorship of cultism in the state.

However, the detained federal lawmaker who had since pleaded not guilty to the charge, through his team of lawyers, approached the high court, alleging a deliberate attempt to deny him the opportunity to participate in the governorship primary election of the party.

Aside from his substantive suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/654/2022, the plaintiff, also filed an ex-parte application wherein he prayed the court to issue an interim injunction restraining the party from proceeding with the scheduled governorship primary election without the inclusion of his name in the list of aspirants.

He equally sought an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the PDP from using any list of aspirants without his name to conduct the May 26 primary election, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

As well as an order barring the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from accepting any candidate who might emerge from the primary election conducted without his participation.

Cited as defendants in the matter were PDP and INEC.

Meanwhile, in his ruling on Wednesday, Justice Taiwo held that processes the plaintiff filed before the court did not disclose any urgency that would warrant the issuance of an ex-parte injunction against the defendants.

“Ex-parte injunctions are meant for matters of real urgency”, the court held, stressing that it has the powers to give redress to the plaintiff even after the primary election is conducted.

Justice Taiwo noted that whereas the plaintiff filed his substantive suit on May 12, he waited till May 18 to file the ex-parte motion for interim injunction.

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