Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja will on Friday (today) rule on a request to stop the All Progressives Congress from adopting indirect primary for the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Kogi State.
The judge, on Thursday, adjourned till Friday for ruling after hearing the ex parte application by four members of the factional executive committee of the party in the state.
The plaintiffs, Destiny Aromeh, Isah Abubakar, Noah Aku and Joy Onu, are said to be of the Haddy Ametuo-led executive committee of the party in the state.
They have as their rival the other faction of the party loyal to Governor Yahaya Bello.
The APC is the sole respondent in the suit.
The party was, however, not represented in court for Thursday’s ex parte hearing, a one-sided hearing, in which only the applicants’ side is heard.
Their lawyer, Mr. Oluwole Aladedoye, while moving his clients’ ex parte application, asked the court to issue the “order of interim injunction restraining the defendant (APC)” from adopting “the indirect mode of primary for the nomination of its governorship candidate in the forthcoming 2019 governorship election in Kogi State.”
Aladedoye argued that there was an urgent need for the restraining order to be issued to pave the way for direct primary which would allow all card-carrying members of the party to vote.
He said, if the National Working Committee of the party was not restrained, the party would go ahead to adopt indirect primary and his clients, not being the faction recognised by the national leadership of the party, would be “shut out” and not allowed to vote as delegates at the primary.
Aladedoye noted that the APC NWC adopted the indirect primary for the Kogi governorship election in disregard for a pending suit on the disputed leadership of the party in the state.
He said, “The plaintiffs/applicants here re-elected officials, members of the executive committee of the defendant (APC) in Kogi State. In 2018, the congresses of the party held, and they were elected as the party’s officials.
“Then there was later another faction loyal to the governor of the state that claimed to be the authentic elected officials. The dispute on this is still pending before Justice Okon Abang. We were before Justice Abang on July 5, 2019 and the matter was adjourned till October.
“While this matter was pending, the National Working Committee of the defendant (APC) met and resolved that they were going to adopt indirect mode of primary for the Kogi State governorship election.”
According to Aladedoye, the indirect primary only allows delegates to participate.
“The state executive committee members of the party are automatic delegates. The other option would have been the direct primary which allows all card-carrying members of the party in the state to participate.
“But by adopting the indirect primary when the issue of the authentic members of the executive committee of the defendant in the state has not been resolved, they will be shutting out the applicants from participating in the primary,” he added.
After listening to the applicants’ lawyer, Justice Taiwo adjourned till Friday for ruling.