A federal high court, Benin division on Thursday, affirmed the member representing Akoko-Edo federal Constituency on Edo State as the validly elected Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Saturday Presidential and National Assembly elections. The court presided over by Justice Muktar Umar, struck out the petition filed by the Speaker of Edo State
A federal high court, Benin division on Thursday, affirmed the member representing Akoko-Edo federal Constituency on Edo State as the validly elected Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Saturday Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The court presided over by Justice Muktar Umar, struck out the petition filed by the Speaker of Edo State house of Assembly, Hon. Kabiru Adjoto, challenging the Candidature of Hon. Peter Akpatason at the party’s primary election held on October 6, 2018.
His petition was struck out on grounds of failure by the Plaintiff did not exhaust all the internal administrative channels of redress of the All Progressives Congress as a condition for precedent before heading to court.
The court also awarded the sum of N50, 000 (Fifty Thousand naira) cost as damages against Hon. Kabiru Adjotu who had approached the court with five grounds of appeals for determination by the court over alleged substitution of his name by APC.
Adjotu, had challenged the alleged unlawful substitution of his name by his party (APC) with the incumbent lawmaker, Hon. Peter Akpatason, haven scored the highest number of lawful votes cast in the election.
Delivering ruling on the issue raised by the defendants and the plaintiff on Thursday, said the plaintiff did not comply with article 21(b) and 21(d) of the guidelines of the party in line with the 14-days time limit for an aggrieved person to ventilate his dissatisfaction with the outcome of a primary election at arbitration panel of the party and the court.
The court said: “The plaintiff did not comply with article 21(b) and 21(d) of the guidelines”.
He said the first defendant (Peter Akpatason), called six witnesses while the second defendant (APC) called four witnesses who testified in the case.
Counsel to the defendant, Barr
Dele Igbinedion, said the judgement will not stand at the Appeal, adding that the High court only considered the issue of jurisdiction without considering the merit of the case.
He however, queried the constitutionally provision of time limit in which an aggrieved member can approach the appeal panel and the higher appeal panel before going to court
On his part, Counsel to the 2nd defendant, Omo-Ige Adebayo, said the judgement was long awaited in favour of Hon. Akpatason, noting that “jurisdiction is the threshold in the matter”.
According to him”, the 14 days notice for any aggrieved person to ventilate his dissatisfaction at both the panel of arbitration and the court. “That is the position of the law for now”.
In his response to the judgment, Mr. Kabiru Adjoto, expressed dissatisfaction with the judgement, stressing that he will appeal the judgement.
But, the highly elated Hon. Peter Akpatason in a telephone interview with our Correspondent, described the judgement as s victory for all of us.
He said the feat will make members of his party to be more focus for Saturday Presidential and National Assembly elections.
‘We want to extend olive branch to every party member and use this opportunity to bring party members together”, he said.