Law News
Court stops Plateau PDP, INEC from presenting gov candidates

The Saturday primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party may be put in jeopardy in Plateau State following an order of a Federal High Court sitting in Jos, which restrained the party and the Independent National Electoral Commission from screening and presenting candidates for the governorship election in 2015.

A certified copy of the order was obtained by our correspondent in Jos on Thursday.

The order was sequel to a suit filed by nine members of the party against the PDP and INEC, seeking an injunction to restrain the party from violating or undermining the principle of power shift and power sharing as the policy of rotation and zoning of public offices as enshrined in its constitution in relation to the office of the governor of Plateau State for the governorship election pending the determination of the motion on notice.

The plaintiffs, Messrs Matthew Datong, Barnabas Rintar, Gurumdiye Depak, Eric Guimwai and five others, had also sought for an order restraining the PDP from processing the forms submitted by governorship candidates in respect of Plateau State and interviewing and screening the forms submitted by the aspirants to the office of the governor.

Specifically, the plaintiffs are asking for an interpretation of Section 7 (3) (c) of the PDP Constitution as it relates to rotation and zoning of political offices and Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution as it relates to the principles of federal character.

The plaintiffs are also asking for an order to restrain the PDP from taking further steps that would undermine or jeopardise the pending suit in relation to the governorship of Plateau State and to stop the party from accepting any governorship candidate pending the hearing of the motion on notice.

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa, who gave the order on Wednesday, asked the respondents to appear on December 3 to show why the order sought should not be made.

The court also ordered an accelerated hearing five days from the date of the service of this order in view of the urgency of the facts disclosed in the affidavit.

He also ordered that in the interim, the parties should maintain the status quo.

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