2019 Elections: APC in another fresh crisis

The drama keeps evolving ahead of the 2019 general elections after it was reported speaker of the delta state house of assembly Victor Ochei has dragged the All Progressives party, INEC and the winner of the controversial state APC governorship primary, Great Ogboru, before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

Ochei, a governorship aspirant of the APC in a suit with case No FHC/ABJ/CS/1085/ 2018, is seeking among other things, the nullification of the governorship primary election conducted in the state, as well as the declaration that the APC governorship primary election held on September 30, was illegal and unlawful, on the ground that delegates not known to law were used for the exercise.

It would be recalled that during the governorship primary held at the College of Education (Technical), Asaba, factional APC governorship fly bearer, Great Ogboru and the Senator representing Delta Central senatorial district in the National Assembly, Ovie Omo-Agege, had hijacked the primary process, characterised by crisis.

Armed thugs suspected to be working for Ogboru and Omo-Agege were seen with guns shooting sporadically at the venue.

The All Progressives Congress, (APC), Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), and Great Ogboru are defendants in the suit. Ochei, through his legal counsel, Ahmed Rahi (SAN), noted that a judgment that was delivered by Justice Anwuri Chikere on June 19, authenticated a list of APC delegates in Delta State, alleged that the national leadership of the party sidelined the said list during the primary election.

Ochei, who is the plaintiff in the case, told the court that contrary to the judgment, the APC leadership used unknown delegates for the primary poll and therefore urged the court to nullify the primary election.

The immediate past speaker also prayed the court for an order compelling the APC to immediately conduct a fresh primary election with the list of delegates endorsed in the consent judgment of the Federal High Court. as well as an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC or its agents from accepting, recognising or utilising the name of Ogboru as the winner of the election.

In his 40-paragraphed supporting affidavit, Ochei told the court that he was denied fair participation in the primary election, despite paying the sum of N22.5 million for expression of interest and nomination forms.

Ochei, however, insisted that the court’s order was brazenly violated by the national leadership of the party in the conduct of the primary poll, stating that unless the court intervened, the governorship election in Delta State would “be a product of fraud”.

Reporters learned that both the APC and Great Ogboru, through their lawyer, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), have since filed preliminary objections to challenge the competence of the suit.

Meanwhile, the presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba has adjourned the case till November 13 for adoption of all processes filed in respect of the case.

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