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Guber Aspirants Drag Benue APC Chieftains to Court Over Ortom’s Imposition

Chief Samuel Ortom

Four governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue, have dragged before an Abuja High Court, Comrade Abba Yaro, Dr. George Akume, the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the imposition of Dr. Samuel Ortom as the APC governorship candidate for 2015 elections.

Chief Samuel Ortom

Chief Samuel Ortom

They prayed the Court to stop the APC from forwarding to INEC the name of Chief Samuel Ortom as the Benue State guber candidate.

The Applicants/Plaintiffs, otherwise known as the G.4, are: Sen. J.K.N. Waku, Prof. Steve Ugbah, Hon. Emmanuel Jime and Chief Mike Iordye while the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents/Defendants in the matter are: Abba Yaro, State APC Chairman; Dr. George Akume, Senate Minority Leader/State Party Leader; the APC and INEC respectively.

In all, three papers were filed in the suit, No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1057/24:

  1. The Originating Summons.
  1. The Motion on Notice which by which the Applicants/Plaintiffs are asking the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the APC from submitting the name of any person, including Dr. Samuel Ortom, to the 4th defendant (INEC) as the duly nominated candidate of the party for the governorship elections in Benue State in the absence of primaries or the selection of a consensus candidate among the plaintiffs, pending the final determination of the substantive suit.

The Applicants/Plaintiffs also prayed the court for a perpetual injunction restraining INEC from receiving and acting on any name, including that of Dr. Samuel Ortom as the nominated governorship candidate of the party for Benue State in the absence of conducted primaries by the party and in the absence of consent and approval of the Applicants/Plaintiffs conveyed in writing, pending the final determination of the substantive matter.

The third paper was a Motion Ex parte, which seeks a temporary injunction pending the hearing of the motion as in 2 above. It equally seeks the same reliefs as above.

In effect, the suit seeks to stop: Dr. Ortom from parading himself as the Benue APC Guber Candidate; the APC from sending Ortom’s name to INEC, and INEC from receiving Ortom’s name should it be sent to it.

Represented by their counsels, Messrs. S.A. Orkuma, S.A. Ngavan, Chris Alashi and Miss. G.N. Adugu, the Applicants/Plaintiffs equally prayed the court to restrain Respondents/Defendants, especially 1st and 2nd Respondents/Defendants (i.e. Abba Yaro, State APC Chairman; and Dr. George Akume, Senate Minority leader as well as Member, APC Board of Trustees, from contravening or persisting in contravening Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 or Articles 7 [vii]. [ix], [xiii], 9[1] [iii] and other provisions of the party’s Constitution, pending the determination of the substantive matter.

Ortom, a PDP chieftain and immediate-past Minister of Trade and Investment (State), had vied for his party’s ticket at the PDP guber primaries, but, failing, had crossed over to the APC, where he was adopted last week by the Benue APC as its “Consensus Governorship Candidate.”

The development has thrown the party into intractable crisis, with four of the party’s five governorship aspirants first: dragging the State APC to court and, then; petitioning the state leadership over the matter to the national secretariat.

The recourse to the courts by the G.5 to stop national leadership of the party followed the latter’s inability to intervene in the matter on the side of due process, and its alleged moves to submit Ortom’s name to INEC as Benue’s APC Governorship Candidate.

As at the close of work today, all the necessary court processes had been served on both the 3rd and 4th Respondents/Defendants in Abuja. The 1st and 2nd Respondents/Defendants will be served in Makurdi on Monday.


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