July 16, 2024

Edo guber: Court fixes July 19 to rule on LP’s candidacy tussle

The Federal High Court, sitting in Benin City, has reserved judgement for July 19, 2024, on the legal tussle over the Edo State governorship primaries of the Labour Party (LP), conducted on February 23.

One of the aspirants in the contest, Mr. Kenneth Imasuangbon, challenged the party’s candidate, Olumide Akpata, alleging irregularities in the process and issues with the personal documentation provided by Akpata.

Justice Babatunde Quadri reserved ruling for July 19 after parties to the suit adopted their written addresses.

Imasuangbon is challenging the nomination of Akpata on the grounds that the Labour Party did not follow the Electoral Act, the constitution of the party, and the party guidelines in the conduct of the primaries.

Lead Counsel to the plaintiff (Imasuangbon), A. Malik, SAN, in his submission, prayed the court to dismiss the submission of the counsels to Olumide Akpata on the grounds that the first defendant violated the Electoral Act and the party’s constitution, which he noted are critical elements of the electoral process.

Malik also pointed out that his client has disclosed a reasonable cause of action on the matter and urged the court to reject the submission of the first defendant, declare and return the plaintiff as the winner, or in the alternative, void, nullify the primary election, and order a fresh one.

He alleged that the LP primaries were marred by over-voting, contrary to the party’s guidelines and the constitution.

On his part, the counsel to the defendant and running mate to Akpata, Kadiri Asamah, SAN, submitted that the argument and submission of the plaintiff were baseless and could not be litigated upon by the court. He argued that it was a pre-primary issue and, as such, should be dismissed by the court.

Asamah, while adopting all the arguments contained in his written addresses, urged the court to dismiss the position of the plaintiff, adding that it was an abuse of the court process.

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