Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Friday, ordered the All Progressives Congress to suspend plans towards adopting an indirect primary for the nomination of its candidate for the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Kogi State.
Ruling on an ex parte application by four members of the factional Executive Committee of the party in the state, the judge ordered parties to the suit “to maintain the status quo” until when the main suit touching on the propriety of adopting indirect mode of the primary would be resolved by the court.
Justice Taiwo ordered an accelerated hearing in the suit and adjourned till July 19 to enable him to dispense with the suit ahead of the party’s primary scheduled to hold on August 29.
He also ordered the plaintiffs to serve the papers file in the suit on the defendant, who must also file all necessary responses before the next hearing date.
The plaintiffs – Destiny Aromeh, Isah Abubakar, Noah Aku, and Joy Onu, are said to be of the Haddy Ametuo-led executive committee of the party in the state.
They have as their rival the other faction of the party loyal to Governor Yahaya Bello.
The APC is the sole respondent in the suit.
The party was however not represented at the Thursday’s ex parte hearing, a one-sided hearing, in which only the applicants’ side was heard.
Their lawyer, Mr. Oluwole Aladedoye, while moving his clients’ ex parte application, asked the court to issue the “order of interim injunction restraining the defendant (APC)” from adopting “the indirect mode of primary for the nomination of its governorship candidate in the forthcoming 2019 governorship election in Kogi State”.
He argued that there was an urgent need for the restraining order to be issued to pave the way for direct primary which would allow all card-carrying members of the party to vote.
He said if the National Working Committee of the party was not restrained, the party would go ahead to adopt a indirect primary and his clients, not being the faction recognised by the national leadership of the party, would be “shut out” and not allowed to vote as delegates at the primary.
Aladedoye noted that the National Working Committee of the party adopted the indirect primary for Kogi State election in disregard to a pending suit on the disputed leadership of the party in the state.