The Federal High Court sitting in Benin, the Edo State capital, has reserved arguments till next week Monday on an exparte motion brought before it by a faction of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Members of the party had in the exparte motion sought the order of the court to prevent the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC and the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, from using direct primaries to elect the Edo State governorship candidate of the party.
The latest legal move has opened a new battlefront between forces loyal to Governor Godwin Obaaeki and his estranged predecessor and National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Oshiomhole.
Joined in the suit, is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Deputy Chairman of the party, Pastor Kenneth Asemokhai and a governorship aspirant of the party, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, have approached the court, to seek a restraining order against the APC from adopting the direct mode of primaries.
They cited COVID-19 and 2018 APC NEC resolution as the ground for their action.
According to the plaintiffs, who were represented by John Odubela (SAN), APC Constitution provides that the states should suggest mode of primaries to the NWC, that they have suggested indirect primaries in which 4,000 delegates would participate with 500 delegates representing each ward.
An argument, however, ensued when the defendants’ lawyers led by H. O Ogbodu (SAN), appeared in the matter and demanded to be served the motion papers.
Justice M.D Umar, however, declined to grant the exparte motion.
Umar gave the defendants three days to file their papers to show cause why the injunction should not be granted.