A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, the Delta State Capital has restrained the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from submitting the list of all party candidates for the 2019 election from Delta State to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a ruling on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by the sitting judge, Justice Toyin Adegoke, the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole who was joined in the suit, as the 2nd respondent with All Progressives Congress (APC) as 1st respondent, Independent National Electoral Commission and Prophet Jones Erue as the 3rd and 4th respondents respectively and the plaintiffs, were ordered to maintain status quo and desist from submitting any list of candidates from Delta State by the two factions to INEC till the substantive suit filled is heard
It will be noted that the Chief Cyril Ogodo led State Working Committee (SWC) in the State and others had instituted an interlocutory injunction restraining NWC of APC and the National Party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole from submitting the list of candidates from Prophet Jones Erue faction to INEC.
According to Justice Adegoke, she said since pre-election matters require accelerated hearings, made the following orders that, “this matter shall be given an accelerated hearing owing to fact that it is a pre-election matter. All defendants are to take note of the tendencies of this suit.
“Parties shall maintain status quo as at today, the 17th day of October 2018. That is the order of this court.” Adegoke ruled.
Counsel to the Applicants, Barr. O.J. Oghenejakpor who noted that as at today, no list of candidates has been submitted to INEC, said that the implication of the ruling is that no list will be submitted until we hear this case. “Technically, the court has granted an injunction restraining any person to nominate any candidate from Delta State for the 2019 election. The issue will have to await the substantive trial which is now fixed for 1st and 2nd November, 2018. Court has alo granted us an accelerated hearing so that the facts can be put to rest once and for all.”
Oghenejakpor added that the order by the court, is a healing process. “I think if the National Executives could take opportunity of this process. This is what will bring the party together in Delta State.”
Meanwhile, Counsel to the 1st and 2nd respondents, Barr. George Onaho who challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit filled before it, said the court has done the needful. “In the view of the court, our objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court has to wait and be adopted together with our final written address after the substantive suit must have been heard. So that necessitated the adjournment that was taken and the court has ordered an accelerated hearing and gave two days to call in witnesses and deal with it.”