A Lagos High Court has adjourned further hearing in the suit filed by nine aggrieved members of the Lagos State chapter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) over the party’s primary in the State against the party’s national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and the state Chairman, Mr. Moshood Salvador till September 12.
Joined alongside Secondus and Salvador as respondents in the claimants’ suit marked LD/2753GCM/3018, filed before the court by their lawyer, O. J. Osinowo, are: the party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Eddy Olafeso, the party’s South-West Zone, National Vice Chairman and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The nine aggrieved members who are claimants in the suit are:
Ishola Isiaka Shodiya, Ismaila Abiodun Abiola, Mr. Kehinde Adelani, Mr. Kazeem Adeyemi, Awoyemi Abayomi, Adegboyega Adegbesan, Olalekan Bello,
Florence Akojenu and Wasiu Aderounmu.
The claimants, in the suit, have asked the Court to nullify the party’s congresses conducted in in October 21, 2017, for not conforming with the party’s constitution.
Apart from asking for the nullification of October, 2017 party’s congresses, they also asked the court for a declaration that Mr. Salvador and other members of his executive are not validly elected at any congress, and that they cannot parade or present themselves as members of the party’s Executive Committee in Lagos State.
They also asked the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the national body of the party and its national chairman, Prince Secondus, from swearing, dealing with and recognising Salvador’s led executive.
The aggrieved PDP members also asked the court for an order compelling and directing PDP to conduct congresses for elections of members into offices as contained in the party’s Constitution in all the local government and at state level. And an order directing INEC to monitor and attend the congresses in all local government and State level in Lagos State, within 10 days from the date of the order of the Court.
However, the respondents, in their preliminary objection to the suit filed by their lawyer, Spurgeon Ataene, have asked the court to strike out the suit for being incurably defective.
They added that the originating summon ought to have been served in Abuja and Oyo State out of the court’s jurisdiction.
In urging the court to strike out the suit against them, the respondents states that the claimants failed to comply with the condition precedent to file the suit, as Order 7 Rules 2 and 3 of the High Court of Lagos State Civil Procedure Rule, 2004, were not complied with.
The respondents also stated that the claimants’ suit is not in tandem with the Order 3 Rules 5 and 6 of the High Court of Lagos State Civil Procedure Rules, 2012, as a contentious matter as their suit ought not to be by originating motion.
The respondents also stated that the originating summon and other accompanying processes were not endorsed for service in line with the mandatory provision of Section 97 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.
Based on the above grounds, the respondents therefore urged the court to strike out the suit against them.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, lawyer to the respondents, Mr. Spurgeon Ataene, informed the court that he had filed a new preliminary objection and counter-affidavit to the claimants’ suit, and urged the court to strike out the one earlier filed before the court.
Lawyer to the claimants, O. J. Osinowo, while confirming to have been served with the new preliminary objection and the counter-affidavit, told the court that he needed time to respond to the respondents’ new application.
He added that since the party’s primary is scheduled for next week, the court should make an order that statue quo be maintained by both parties.
Responding, lawyer to the respondents, Mr. Ataene, urged the court to discountenance statue quo order sought for by the claimants, rather, he urged the court for an order of accelerated hearing, so the non of the parties that will do what will overreach the decision of the court, adding that there is any urgency in the claimants’ suit, as the primary they ate contesting was held since October 2017.
Ataene added that should in case the court is mindful of granting the claimants’ request, there should be no new primary of the party next week, as there is existing party’s Exco, who came on board by the virtue of the Congresses held in October 2017.
Upon listening to the submissions of both parties, Justice Idowu Alakija, while adjourning the hearing of the matter till September 12, ordered that all parties should file their applications before the adjourned date.
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