Ahead of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial primary in Edo State scheduled for Thursday, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has barred the governor, Godwin Obaseki, from participating in the party’s primary election.
The suit was instituted by one of the governorship aspirants of the PDP, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who had vowed not to step down for Obaseki like others in the state.
Suit against the governor’s came hours after the party granted Obaseki and his deputy, Phillip Shuaibu, waiver after dumping All Progressives Congress (APC) to join the opposition party.
Ogbeide-Ihama, in the suit queried Obaseki’s education credentials and that the party’s constitution stipulated a time frame before anyone could contest for public office on the party’s platform.
The complainant also argued that the governor joined the party at a time when the stipulated window for aspirants to purchase forms had expired and that those who adhered to the time frame should be allowed to participate in the primary election.
In the suit, Justice Emmanuel Obile granted the interim requests sought by the applicant, who had vowed not to step down for Obaseki, and directed that parties in the suit should be served through substituted means, in two national dailies.
To expedite action on the suit considering it importance, the judge, thereafter, adjourned the matter until June 24 for the hearing of the summon.
Aside from the governor, the party, the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and five members of the PDP screening committee and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The PDP had fixed June 19 and 20 to conduct the governorship primary in Edo but shifted the date to June 23, and later June 25 to address issues raised by members.
The governor was screened on Sunday by a five-man committee led by Kingsley Chinda with Boyele Debekeme as the secretary.