By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
A gubernatorial aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abia State, Chief Ikechi Emenike, yesterday, asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from recognizing Governor Theodore Orji as the flag-bearer of the party in Abia State, pending the hearing and determination of a suit challenging his candidacy.
He equally sought an interim injunction restraining the incumbent governor from parading himself as the standard bearer of the party, contending that he purportedly emerged from a kangaroo primaries allegedly organized by an illegal body.
Meantime, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, yesterday granted the plaintiff’s leave to serve all the requisite court process on the PDP, its acting national chairman, Dr Bello Mohammed, INEC, as well as Governor Orji himself.
In the motion-exparte filed by his lawyers, Chief Adeniyi Akintola, SAN, and Mr C.O.C Emeka, the plaintiff specifically sought “an interim injunction compelling the 3rd defendant, INEC, to keep open and extant, the slot of the 1st defendant, PDP, as one of the political parties entitled to enter and have their name and logo on the ballot paper for use in the forthcoming general election.
“An order restraining the PDP and its acting national chairman, servants, agents or privies from recognizing or submitting to INEC the name of any person other than that of the plaintiff and his running mate, Dr Chukwuemeka C. O Okwuonu, as candidates of the PDP for the office of governor and deputy governor of Abia state.
He equally urged the court to order the defendants to maintain the status-quo-ante-bellum, pending when the issues he raised in court were determined.
He contended that he was the bona-fide gubernatorial flag bearer of the party, having emerged from a primaries duly supervised and certified by INEC on January 10, 2011.
Meanwhile, Justice Kolawole yesterday ordered all the defendants to appear before him on February 10 to adduce reasons he should not grant the reliefs sought by the plaintiff.