Barristers & Solicitors
Party Chieftain Wants Court to Nullify Abia PDP’s Guber Ticket

Contrary to the narrative of peacefulness in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia, it has emerged that all is not well in the party  as a governorship aspirant in the May 25, 2022 primary, Dr Sampson Orji is now fighting hard to nullify the outcome of the primary.

A former Vice-chancellor of the Abia State University Uturu (ABSU), Prof Uche Ikonne,  had emerged the governorship candidate of the ruling party in the said primary which was boycotted by some aspirants.

Still nursing his wounds, Dr Orji has approached a Federal High Court in Umuahia seeking the nullification of Ikonne’s governorship ticket on the ground that the delegates that voted in  the primary were not elected.

According to him, there was nowhere in Abia that the three-man ad-hoc congress was held to elect the delegates, adding that the list used for primary was generated at government house Umuahia in favour of Prof Ikonne.

The professor of optometric is generally believed to be the anointed candidate of the state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu hence things were allegedly skewed in  his favour to emerge as the PDP governorship flag bearer.

When the matter came up for hearing, Counsel to the first and second defendants (PDP and Ikonne), A. S Kolawole, filed preliminary objection to the suit.

But in his response to the preliminary objection, Counsel to the plaintiff, Rilwan Idris, expressed willingness to proceed with the case, harping on the essence of time since it’s time bound.

Justice Evelyn Anyadike, who is presiding over the matter, expressed willingness to expedite action on the matter warning that she would not want further wasting of time.

She adjourned the matter to Friday, October 21, for hearing of the substantive suit and all other pending applications.

Speaking with journalists after the court proceedings, counsel to the plaintiff, Idris alleged that the first and second respondents were deliberately causing unnecessary delays in the legal battle.

He stated that the delay tactics was being used “apparently to buy time or to truncate the matter because it’s time bound” since pre-election matters should be discharged within 180 days as stipulated in the new Electoral Act.

“After we had filed the suit and served them(respondents), they spent three months without any response, and only came today and filed preliminary objection maybe to truncate the matter or to buy time,” Idris said.

 Orji had earlier denied withdrawing from the race as being claimed by the Abia PDP leadership and challenged anybody with proof of his withdrawal to present to make public any document to that effect.

He vowed to fight impunity and rascality in the ruling party, adding that he was determined in his struggle to enthrone internal democracy and rule of law in the PDP.

THISDAY