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Direct Primary Controversy: APC’s Appeal Challenging Lower Court’s Jurisdiction Adjourned Till Thursday

The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, Edo State, on Tuesday, resumed hearing in the suit by two loyalists of the governor, Godwin Obaseki, who earlier in the day resigned his membership of the All Progressives Congress.

Obaseki’s allies: the factional Edo State Deputy Chairman of APC, Kenneth Asekomhe; and one of the governorship aspirants on the party’s platform, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, who were last week expelled from APC by the National Working Committee for anti-party activities, continued to push the matter, through their lawyers.

NWC of APC insisted that the governorship primary election in Edo state would be by direct mode, while Obaseki’s allies are calling for indirect mode.

The suit with reference number: CA/B/128/2020, has as appellants, the APC and its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

The respondents are Asekomhe, Iduoriyekemwen, Independent National Electoral Commission and the Inspector-General of Police.

APC had challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Benin, to hear the case while Oshiomhole is seeking an order for stay of further proceedings in the suit at the FHC.

The presiding judge, Justice Morenike Ogunwunmiju, adjourned hearing in the suit till Thursday.

The appellants’ counsel, Kingsley Obamogie, while speaking with reporters after Tuesday’s court session, said: “The court granted accelerated hearing of the appeal by Comrade Oshiomhole. The court also granted an order directing a departure from the rules of the Court of Appeal, with respect to hearing of the appeal.

“The respondents were given 24 hours within which to file their briefs, in answer to the appellant’s brief already filed. The appellant was given 12, hours, if need be, to file his reply brief. The appeal is now fixed for hearing on Thursday, June 18 at 12 noon.”

Counsel to the respondents, Ken Mozia, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), stated that his clients had an application before the appellate court to decline entertaing the appeal, on the grounds that the lower court had not been given the opportunity to determine any of the issues.

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