Ifeanyi Odii has been affirmed as the standard governorship flagbearer for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki on Friday upheld that Odii was the authentic candidate of the PDP as declared months ago following the party’s governorship primary held on May 29.
The Court gave the ruling in a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/2020/2022 filed by one Tochukwu Okorie against the PDP and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Naija News reports.
Okorie had approached the court to contest Odii’s victory at the PDP primary in Ebonyi State on May 28 and 29, sighting that the election was conducted in flagrant disobedience of the order of the Court of Appeal, staying the execution of the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, which had declared Joseph Sila Onu as the Ebonyi State Chairman of the party.
Earlier in April, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court had recognised Joseph Silas Onu as the authentic Chairman of the Ebonyi State chapter of the PDP.
Okorie, however, through his Counsel, Nkemakolam Okoro, challenged the court’s verdict, praying it to set aside the lower court’s judgment. The appellant followed it up with a motion for a stay of execution of the judgment of the Federal High Court, which was granted by the appellate court.
Specifically, the Court of Appeal had on May 23, ordered the stay of execution of the judgment of the Federal High Court and directed that all parties be returned to status quo ante bellum.
However, despite the decision and enrolled orders of the Court of Appeal, which was duly served on the PDP, who was equally a party to the appeal, the PDP continued to recognise Joseph Silas Onu, as its state Chairman, in disobedience of the said orders of the Court of Appeal.
Okorie further argued that Mr Onu had on May 28th and 29th, pursuant to the letters dated May 5th, 7th and 13th, Joseph Silas Onu, at the behest of the PDP in Ebonyi State, convened and chaired the state Congress of the party in the state to conduct the primary election in the state, in defiance of the clear orders of the Court of Appeal staying the execution of the judgment of the Federal High Court
In his suit, the plaintiff had appealed to the court to set aside the actions of the PDP against the subsisting orders of the court.
Justice Fatun Riman, however, while presiding over the case on Friday, dismissed the matter and lambasted Okorie for abusing court processes by instituting similar issues across various jurisdictions of the Federal High Court in the country.
The court accused him of forum shopping for a favourable judgement. The court noted that the issues raised in the matter have already been settled by the supreme court and as such, should not have been brought to the court to adjudicate again.
Therefore, the court set aside the prayers of Tochukwu for lacking merit. The ruling was appreciated by the PDP lawyer, Mudi Erhenede.
He noted that with the judgement, the earlier judgement issued by the Abuja Division of the court two days ago nullifying the congresses and primaries of the party had been vacated.
He said, “The essence of today’s judgement which is for the court to set aside the primaries of 28 and 29 and congresses of the party has been dismissed by the court.
“When you have two judgement of courts of coordinate jurisdiction, the later judgement supersedes.”