The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has filed a suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Accord Party (AP) and some candidates of the party over primaries of the Accord.
The matter registered in suit number FHC/PH/CS/130/2022, is challenging the conduct of the primaries of the Accord Party, seeking the court to void some of it.
In the suit PDP is the plaintiff, while INEC (first defendant) Accord Party, (Second defendant) while some named chieftains of the party stand as 3rd to 16th defendants.
When the matter was mentioned in court yesterday, Counsel for the PDP, Dike Udenna, said the matter was ripe for hearing, but that there was an application to regularize all process following a preliminary objection raised by the defense.
The trial Judge, Justice Dalyop Pam, granted the requested for extension of time to enable parties regularize their processes and adjourned till July 29 this year for definite hearing on the matter.
Speaking outside the courtroom, counsel for the Accord Party, Abdullamid Mohammed, (a Senior Advocate of Nigeria), explained that the preliminary objection of Party is that the matter was statute barred.
He noted that the preliminary objection of the defendants would be heard together with the main suit on the adjourned date.
Mohammed said: “This is a suit that arose from the primary elections which was conducted by consensus and a political party known as PDP decided to come to court to challenge the primary election of another political party, the Accord.
“The primary was conducted on May 28, 2022, nobody came to court until July 7, PDP decided to come to court to challenge that primaries. They are now saying INEC should not accept the candidates that have been forwarded to INEC.
“We filed a preliminary objection to say while are they in slumber. They have squandered their time in coming to court. They ought to be in court within 14 days and since they are not in the court the matter is statute barred.
“Then we will file a conditional appearance, and we want to protest the jurisdiction of the court to hear and determine the suit.
“On another ground, we are saying that PDP has no locus to come to court to file the suit by virtue of the constitutional and statutory provisions in the Electoral Act. We served them yesterday and court have given them time within which they would respond.
“The court on the adjourned day will consolidate the main suit and preliminary objection and hear them together.”
Reacting, the Governorship Candidate of the Accord said, Dumo Lulu-Briggs, described the move by the PDP as meddlesomeness, adding that the PDP is afraid of going to polls with candidates of the Accord Party.
“The PDP in the state has displayed a high level of hysteria by coming to court. This is meddlesomeness. What Accord did has nothing to do with PDP.
“Everything that Accord did was in line with the electoral Act. You did not find any member of Accord or a contestant, only for a different political party to say that Accord did not do its primaries well.
“What else will make a political party to go to court if they are not scared?, Lulu-Briggs added.