The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has ordered accelerated hearing of the suit seeking to stop the incumbent Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, from participating in the Peoples Democratic Party governorship primary election slated for Thursday.
One of PDP governorship aspirants, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, filed the suit on Monday after vowing not to step down for Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Hon. Justice E.A Obile allowed the Plaintiff to serve the parties through substituted means in two national dailies and adjourned till June 24 for hearing of the summon.
The ruling of the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, came the same day another aspirant, Mr. Gideon Ikhine, stepped down for Obaseki.
Obaseki, who just defected to the party from the APC, was screened last week by the PDP Screening Committee.
He had earlier been granted waiver by the party after his defection from the APC.
The suit has the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, as the first defendant.
Other defendants are Emmanuel Ogidi, Kingsley Chinda, Debekeme, James Manager, Ajibola Muraina, the PDP, Obaseki and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as second to ninth defendants respectively.
Ogbeide-Ihama, through his lawyers, Mr. Donald Denwigwe (SAN) and Chief F. Orbih, SAN, and leader of PDP in Edo State, had asked the court to stop Obaseki because his defection to the party, a few days to the primary, was unreasonable and aimed at destabilising other aspirants.
The court, presided over by Justice E. A. Obile, after listening to the submission of Denwigwe and Orbih, refused to grant the order stopping Defendants, Obaseki or any member or non-member of the party other than those that have purchased forms and were screened within the time stated in the timetable from contesting for Thursday’s primary.
The judge ordered that the processes be served on Secondus, Ogidi and Chinda by substituted means at their residences in Port Harcourt.
The order and other processes are also to be served on the PDP at its national headquarters in Abuja and Obaseki at the Government House in Benin-City.
The court adjourned till tomorrow ( Wednesday) on the eve of the primary election to hear the motion on notice.
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