The Federal High Court 11, Abuja Judicial Division, Per Maha, J. on Saturday the 31st day of December 2022, dismissed the suit filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the instance of Barr. A.C.B. Agbazuere, against the nomination of Hon. Ginger Onwusibe as candidate of the Labour Party in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1291/2022: PDP V. INEC, Labour Party & Hon. Ginger Onwusibe.
This is contained in a report by I. OKITE OKITE, ESQ.,Head of Media and Publicity,Ginger Onwusibe Campaign Team
The PDP in the suit had prayed the Federal High Court to nullify the candidature of Hon. Ginger Onwusibe on the grounds that he contested the Primaries of the PDP for the State House of Assembly and lost before going to the Labour Party to contest the Primaries for nomination as Labour Party’s candidate for the Isiala Ngwa North/Isiala Ngwa South Federal Constituency for the General Election to the House of Representatives in the National Assembly without resigning from the PDP.
The Plaintiff contended that Hon. Onwusibe’s name was not contained in the Register of Members of Labour Party submitted to INEC as required by the Electoral Act and that he was still a member of the PDP as at the time he contested the Primaries of the Labour Party and therefore his nomination was a nullity and should be voided.
In Defence, Hon. Ginger Onwusibe through his Counsel, Nnamdi Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe, Esq. filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection to the competence of the suit in addition to filing a Counter-Affidavit against the Plaintiff’s Originating Summons.
In her Decision, the Hon. Justice Maha upheld three grounds of the Preliminary Objection raised by Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe, Esq. The Court agreed with Hon. Onwusibe’s Counsel that the action was Statute Barred because the Primaries of Labour Party which held on the 8th day of June 2022 was the date of the occurrence of the event in dispute since it was that day that Hon. Ginger was alleged to have contested said Primaries while still being a member of PDP and/or when his name was not in the Register of Members of Labour Party.
The Court rejected the contention of PDP and Agbazuere that the effective date was the day INEC published the name of Hon. Ginger Onwusibe as candidate of Labour Party. The Court held that by the provisions of the Constitution, Pre-Election matters must be filed within 14 days of the occurrence of the event complained of. The Court agreed with Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe, Esq., that since the action by PDP was filed on the 5th day of July 2022, it was not within 14 days of 8th June 2022 when Hon. Ginger Onwusibe contested and won the Primaries of Labour Party. The action was therefore Statute-barred, incompetent, void and robbed the Court of jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate it.
The Court also upheld the other two grounds of objection canvassed by Hon. Ginger Onwusibe’s Counsel to the effect that the PDP has no locus standi to institute the action and disclosed no Cause of Action, not being an aspirant or candidate in the Primary Election of the Labour Party for the Isiala Ngwa North/Isiala Ngwa South Federal Constituency in dispute. The Court agreed with the plethora of Supreme Court decisions relied on by Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe, Esq., in finding and holding that a Political Party has no locus standi to challenge the internal affairs, including Congresses/Primaries of another Political Party as that will lead to anarchy.
On the whole, the Hon. Justice Maha upheld the Preliminary Objection of the 3rd Defendant and held that the suit was incompetent and the Court had no jurisdiction to hear it and accordingly dismissed it.
Victory for the Isiala Ngwa people!
Vote Ginger Onwusibe for for Federal House of Representatives, Isiala Ngwa North and South!
Vote Labour Party all the way!