Eligibility Contest: Court Refers Delta PDP, LP, APC to Tribunal


A Federal High Court Judge sitting in Asaba on Thursday, June 18, 2015 asked the Peoples Democratic Party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) in Delta State to seek redress at the Election Petition Tribunal in a matter brought by the PDP challenging the eligibility of all the candidates of the APC and LP in the April general elections in the state .

Delivering judgment, Justice Olatunregun Ishola ruled that even though the case “has merits, it is an inter-party issue and a post-election matter which can be resolved at the Election Petition Tribunal.”

Justice Ishola held that “the plaintiffs did not show sufficient evidence to prove that their rights have been injured by the defendants in the matter.” She subsequently struck out the matter and urged the parties not to use the courts as “a play ground.”

Speaking to reporters, counsel to PDP , Akinnolu Timothy Kehinde (SAN) said the judgment of the court would be studied and a position will be taken by his clients, adding that “as a senior counsel and a lawyer, I am bound by the decision of the court. We will take the next step when we get to that bridge.”

In the suit ((FHC/ASB/CS/28,29,30/2015), the PDP had asked the court to disqualify all the candidates of the three political parties standing for election in the state on the grounds that their parties violated sections 85(1) of the Electoral Acts , 2010 (as amended) which provides that: “Every registered political party shall give the commission at least 21 days’ notice of any convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified under this act.”

According to the plaintiff, APC, Accord and Labour Party breached this constitutional provision having held their primaries less than 21 days after the notices they gave to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the holding of their primaries to choose candidates for the 2015 election.

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