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Controversies trail court judgment on Edo APC guber primaries

By Idowu Abdullahi,

Controversies have continued to trail the alleged court order restraining the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, from conducting any primary election ahead of the governorship election in the state.

There had been accusations and counter-accusations over the ruling as both legal representatives of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and that of the APC were claiming victories as a result of the judgment.

A Federal High Court sitting in Benin City on Monday reportedly granted an order restraining the ruling party and Oshiomhole, from conducting any primary election in Edo State.

The ruling, which came exactly two weeks to the primaries, ordered the party National Working Committee (NWC) chaired by Oshiomhole, to restrain from conducting any primary election in Edo State pending the outcome of the suit before it.

Before the ruling, APC had fixed its party governorship primaries for June 22 and directed aspirants including the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to obtain their nomination form in order to stand the chance of becoming the party’s standard-bearer for the election slated for September.

After the NWC directives, party members loyal to Obaseki have been at loggerheads with the national leadership of the party over the choice of the primary rather than hand over the incumbent governor an automatic ticket ahead of the governorship election in the state.

But, contrary to what was earlier reported, information emerged that the court refused to grant an interim injunction filed by Obaseki and his allies asking the court to restrain the APC from going ahead with the primaries.

The Guild gathered that the presiding Judge, whose name was not released, refused the request of the Governor’s legal team and thereby adjourned the hearing of the suit to Thursday, June 11.

Also, the Judge ordered that the status quo be maintained by all parties pending the hearing on Thursday, adding that the adjournment was to allow the court to properly examine the merits of the filed injunction and provide a chance for all parties involved to argue their case before the final judgment on the matter.

Reacting to the reports, Obaseki’s main challenger, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu urged journalists to refrain from heating up the polity by ensuring their reports are accurate and thoroughly verified before putting it out for public consumption.

Particularly, Ize-Iyamu appealed to newsmen to professional and uphold the ethics of the profession when reporting the APC primaries and forthcoming governorship election.

The governorship aspirant, through a statement by his Director of Communication and Media, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organization, John Mayaki, stressed the need for media organizations to exercise caution when reporting of issues surrounding the forthcoming elections.

“For long, we have raised alarm on the formation of a propaganda unit by the embattled Governor, Mr. Governor Godwin Obaseki, where fake news and other misleading reports are manufactured and strategically distributed across the internet and forwarded to journalists with the intention of presenting a false representation of things.”

“To avoid being caught in the web of the Governor’s destructive and unprincipled politics, we are repeating our advice to media bodies and journalists to be careful in their management of any information from the Governor’s camp and ensure proper checks before publishing.”

“As court records show, Governor Obaseki failed today again at the Federal High Court in Benin. His interim injunction seeking to restrain the APC from conducting its primary because he is afraid of losing was refused by the court and a status quo was ordered. The court has said all sides involved should come and present their arguments on Thursday, June 11, and as people backed by the truth and legal facts, we confidently anticipate the date,” the statement read.

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