*Gives them 72 hours ultimatum
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
A Federal High Court in Abuja, TUesday, gave the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, 72 hours to appear before it to show cause why it should not order fresh gubernatorial primary election in Kogi State.
The order was made, sequel to an ex-parte application filed by a governorship hopeful in that state, Isa Rasak Kutepa, who yesterday, pleaded the high court to compel the PDP to conduct a re-run primary election in Kogi State following the cancellation of the one held in the state on January 9, 2011.
The re-run saw one Alhaji Jibrin Isah emerging as the flag-bearer of the party for the impending gubernatorial polls in the state.
Kutepa, in his ex-parte application, sought an order restraining the PDP from nominating Isah as the party’s standard bearer in the state for the April election, contending that the appeal panel of the party reviewed and nullified the said election and ordered that a re-run primary election be conducted in Kogi State.
The plaintiff specifically sought “a declaration that having cancelled or set aside the purported governorship primary election in Kogi State on January 9, 2011 and ordering a re-run primary, it was mandatory on PDP to conduct the said re-run election for the purpose of participating and contesting in the general election.”
Though he approached the high court by way of motion ex-parte, presiding Justice Gabriel Kolawole, however, declined granting an instant order as sought by the litigant, though he ordered his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, to put both the PDP and INEC on notice by serving the court processes on them.
He, however, ordered the two respondents to appear before the court within 72 hours to explain why he should not grant the request of the plaintiff for a fresh primary in the state, noting that Kutepa had approached the court because the said re-run election ordered by the party did not hold on January 25, 2011, as it was earlier scheduled.
He subsequently adjourned the matter till February 8.
The plaintiff was reported to have scored 303 votes in the annulled primary election while Isah who was initially adjudged winner of the contest, polled 361 votes.