A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has refused to bar Godwin Obaseki, the Edo State Governor, from participating in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election slated for Thursday.
Mr Obaseki was granted a waiver by the PDP recently after he joined the opposition party from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The suit was instituted by one of the governorship aspirants of the PDP, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who had vowed not to step down for Mr Obaseki.
A major reason stated by Mr Ogbeide-Ihama was that Mr Obaseki recently joined the party and only those who purchased the forms during the stipulated window should be allowed to participate in the primary election.
Just like Mr Obaseki’s former party, the APC, Mr Ogbeide-Ihama also questioned his educational credentials.
Mr Ogbeide-Ihama also prayed that the primaries be put on hold pending when the court would hear the motion on notice.
The judge, E. A Obile, however, did not grant that prayer. The judge asked that the motion seeking to bar Mr Obaseki be served on the defendants including Mr Obaseki via newspaper publication.
Several newspapers, including PREMIUM TIMES, earlier on Tuesday reported that Mr Obaseki had been barred by the court from contesting the election. Those accounts of the court proceeding were inaccurate, PREMIUM TIMES later confirmed.
Mr Obaseki joined the Peoples Democratic Party on Friday after he was disqualified by his former party, APC, from seeking re-election allegedly for submitting questionable certificates.
The APC on Monday picked a former Secretary to the Edo State Government, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as its candidate for the election.
Mr Ize-Iyamu had defected to the APC from the PDP while the governor travelled in the opposite direction, crossing from the APC to the PDP.
In the 2016 governorship election, Mr Ize-Iyamu was the candidate of the PDP while Mr Obaseki flew the flag of the APC.