The leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has moved to the Court of Appeal, Abuja in a legal battle by a disqualified candidate, Cosmos Chukwudi Ndukwe, to stop the conduct of the Presidential primary election of the party.
Ndukwe had dragged the PDP Primary Election Planning Committee Chairman, Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu, and others, before a Federal High Court in Abuja, praying that the planned Presidential primary election be stopped, due to his disqualification from participating in the Presidential primary election of the party, on the ground of alleged anti-party activity.
The aggrieved PDP Chieftain had in addition to his originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2022, filed an exparte application for an order to restrain the PDP from going ahead with the primary election, until his suit has been fully determined.
On April 28, Justice Donatus Okorowo in a ruling on the exparte application, refused to grant the request of the Plaintiff, but however, ordered the PDP and its Primary Election Planning Committee to appear before the court, to show cause on why the primary election should not be stopped at the instance of the suit of the Plaintiff.
Nonetheless, dissatisfied with the Federal High Court’s decision, the Primary Election Planning Committee Chairman filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal, praying that the order of Justice Okorowo be set aside.
Among others, the Appellant (Senator Anyanwu) claimed that the Judge erred in Law, by denying him fair hearing, in breach of section 36 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
He asserted that the originating summons of the Plaintiff was not ripe for hearing, and that the time for him to file a counter-affidavit against the suit had not lapsed when the Judge gave the order.
The Appellant claimed that the court erred in Law when it failed to aver its mind to the provision of Section 84 (15) of the Electoral Act 2022, before making the order to show cause.
Senator Anyanwu further asserted that the Judge erred in not directing the Plaintiff to put him (Senator Anyanwu) on notice, but rather directed him to show cause on an exparte application anchored on an incompetent originating summons.
He therefore, asked the Court of Appeal to void and set aside the order of the Federal High Court of April 28, asking him to show cause why the primary election should not be stopped.
Apart from Ndukwe, other Respondents in the appeal are the PDP, its National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as 1st to 4th Respondents, respectively.