The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, summoned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to appear over the purported disqualification of Abubakar Waziri from the Adamawa governorship primary.
Mr Waziri, through his lawyer, Louis Alozie, sued the PDP and INEC over his disqualification by the screening committee of the party in preparation for the Adamawa State governorship race in 2023.
Mr Alozie, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), informed the court that the purported disqualification of Mr Waziri was done in breach of the Electoral Act 2022 and the PDP guidelines.
He argued that both the Yola South Local Government Area and the Steering Committee of the PDP cleared Mr Waziri having met all the requirements to participate in the primary election billed for May 23.
While ruling on an ex parte application, the judge, Obiora Egwuatu, ordered the service of court filings on the defendants — the PDP and INEC.
Mr Egwuatu said it was in the interest of justice for all the parties to appear and respond to the issues in the matter.
“The reliefs are too weight to be granted without putting them on notice,” the judge said.
Mr Waziri is seeking, among other prayers, a declaration that he is “duly qualified to contest the gubernatorial primary election of the 1st Defendant in Adamawa State for the selection/election of the 1st Defendant’s candidate for the Governorship election in Adamawa State.”
He also prayed for a “Declaration that the 1st defendant (PDP) cannot arbitrarily and capriciously disqualify the Plaintiff from contesting the Gubernatorial Primary Election in Adamawa State on grounds other than those stipulated in the Constitution.”
“A declaration that the 1st defendant cannot issue the plaintiff with a certificate of disqualification after the 1st defendants appeal panel had adjudged and declared the Plaintiff qualified, eligible and cleared him to so contest.
“A declaration that the purported disqualification of the Plaintiff from contesting the 1st Defendant’s Gubernatorial Primary Election in Adamawa State is unconstitutional, illegal, invalid, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”
The plaintiff urged the court to make an “order restraining the 1st defendant from excluding or disallowing the plaintiff from contesting the Gubernatorial Primary election in Adamawa State for the Selection of its gubernatorial Candidate for the 2023 general election in Adamawa State.
“An order restraining the 2nd defendant from accepting the result of any primary election of the 1st Defendant in which the Plaintiff was not allowed to contest.
“An order directing the 1st defendant to allow the Plaintiff to contest the gubernatorial primary election on its Platform for the 2023 general election.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st defendants whether by itself, agents, privies, officers or by whosoever from conducting the forthcoming gubernatorial primary election for Adamawa State to the exclusion of the plaintiff.”
The judge adjourned the suit until May 26 for a hearing.
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