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Published On: Thu, Jun 18th, 2015

Eligibility: Court Dismisses Delta PDP Case against Labour Party, APC Candidates

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LAGOS JUNE 18TH (URHOBOTODAY)-A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba Delta State on Thursday dismissed a suit filed by Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asking the court to disqualify Labour Party and All Progressive Congress (APC) candidates in 2015 general election in Delta State.
Urhobotoday gathered that the party hinged its request on the basis that Labour party and APC candidates in the state did not pass through the normal primary election process.
Consequently, PDP is asking the court to stop those contesting election or nullify the election of those who have been elected into different electoral positions.
In her judgement, Justice C.M.A. Olatunregun Ishola ruled that the merits of the case had been rendered “a post-election” matter, which should be ironed out by the election petition tribunal.
Justice Olotunregun accordingly ruled that despite the merits of the case, “it is an inter-party issue and a post-election matter, which can be resolved at the Election Petition Tribunal.”
Nevertheless, Justice Ishola declared that the plaintiffs did not show sufficient evidence to prove that their rights have been infringed upon or injured by the defendants in the matter based on the relevant sections of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
Justice Ishola held, “There is nothing to show that their rights have been infringed upon. The First and Second plaintiffs have not shown that they have been injured or that or that their rights have been infringed upon…..The plaintiffs do not have the loci standi pursuant to the section 36(1) of the Constitution and did not disclose sufficient interest worthy of court protection. The suit is hereby struck out.”
However, in striking out the suit, Justice Ishola advised the parties not to use the courts as “a play ground.”
Fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the judge’s verdict, Counsel to the PDP, Mr. Akinnolu Timothy Kehinde (SAN) said he could not state categorically whether the judgement of the court would be appealed.
He said that his team would duly study the judgment of the court and appropriately advise his principal who would determine the next line of action.
On the decision of the trial judge to strike out the case, Kehinde said, “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. That would be determined by the principal; we are only agents of the principal.”
The APC’s counsel, Mr Charity Iguodala Aiguobarueghian also said,
“It is actually the victory of good over evil; it is a confirmation of the law over impunity because the legal system is designed in such a way that it is not an all-comer’s game. It is only when you have interest in a matter that you can legitimately bring a matter in court and pursue it to fruition; so that if there is no interest in a matter any busybody cannot bring a matter in court in the guise of litigation.”
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: “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.”

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