Enugu LGA Polls: Aggrieved PDP Female Candidate Wants Polls CancelledIgnatius Okpara Friday, November 8th, 2013
Ignatius Okpara, Enugu
A People’s Democratic Party (PDP) female chairmanship aspirant for Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State, Princess Edith Ugwuanyi ,has approached a Federal high Court in Enugu asking it to cancel last Saturday, November 2nd 2013, chairmanship election in the area and order for a fresh party primary election to enable her participate.
The Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) had announced the incumbent chairman Hon Ozioko Festus who was seeking re-election as the winner of the chairmanship polls for Igbo-Eze South L.G.A.
But the plaintiff told the court that she was unlawfully excluded from the PDP primary that produced Ozioko after she had been cleared by the party and prayed for the election to be re-conducted so that the due process of the law could be followed.
Baristerr. Chijioke Eze, councel to Ugwuanyi told journalists after the court session Thursday that “before the primary election the ovation was high on her part and she was cleared among other candidates but right at the place where primary was being conducted her name was removed by the person who was to conduct the election just before they started the election. And in a jiffy they just announced that only one person emerged. “So, we are challenging the unlawful manner the plaintiff was barred from participating in the PDP chairmanship primary election at Igboeze South Local Government Area.”
He however explained that the 1st defendant filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the Court on the ground that the Federal High court lacks jurisdiction concerning intra party disputes going by Section 251 of the Constitution.
“But we are saying that the first clause of the same section of the constitution gave the National Assembly the right to create additional jurisdiction of the Federal High Court and that by virtue of that Section 251 does not limit the jurisdiction of the Federal high court but that what it does is that it excluded other courts from entertaining matters contained under the section.
He said “Today we were supposed to adopt our motions based on preliminary objections but unfortunately the third respondent (ENSIEC) also toed the same line and filed preliminary objections on conditional appearance on the matter also challenging the jurisdiction of the court.”
The court therefore, adjourns to February 6, 2014 to enable the plaintiff respond and file counter affidavit to the process and also ensure service before the adjourned date.
Barr. Chijike Eze said that even though the chairman must have been sworn-in before the next adjourned date, “it doesn’t matter; if PDP emerges the court has the right to make consequential orders.
“So when the time comes we know what to do but justice must be done; this is a signal to politicians that power is not taken by the arbitrary whims and caprices of a tyrant rather power are given by the mandate and sovereignty of the people.” He declared
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