A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, has restrained the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress from submitting a list of party candidates for the 2019 election from Delta State to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
In a ruling by Justice Toyin Adegoke, the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, who was joined in the suit as the 2nd respondent, with All Progressives Congress as 1st respondent, INEC and Prophet Jones Erue as the 3rd and 4th respondents respectively, all parties to the suit were ordered to maintain status quo and desist from submitting any list of candidates to INEC till the substantive suit is heard.
The Chief Cyril Ogodo-led State Working Committee and others had instituted an interlocutory injunction restraining APC and Oshiomhole from submitting the list of candidates from Erue’s faction to INEC.
In her ruling, Justice Adegoke said: “This matter shall be given an accelerated hearing owing to fact that it is a pre-election matter.
“All defendants are to take note of the tendencies of this suit.
“Parties shall maintain status quo as at today, the 17th day of October 2018.
“That is the order of this court.”
Counsel to the Applicants, O.J. Oghenejakpor, said the implication is that “as at today, no list of candidates can be submitted to INEC and none will be submitted until we hear this case. Technically, the court has granted an injunction restraining the APC from nominating any candidate from Delta State for the 2019 election.
“The issue will have to await the substantive trial, which is now fixed for 1st and 2nd November, 2018.
“Court has also granted us accelerated hearing so that the facts can be put to rest once and for all.
“It’s a healing process and I think if the National Executives could take opportunity of this process.
“It will bring the party together in Delta State.”
Meanwhile, Counsel to the 1st and 2nd respondents, George Onaho, who challenged the jurisdiction of the court, said the court has done the needful.
Onaho said in the view of the court, “our objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court has to wait and be adopted together with our final written address after the substantive suit must have been heard.
“So that necessitated the adjournment that was taken.
“The court ordered an accelerated hearing and gave two days to call in witnesses and deal with the case.”