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Primaries: Court summons PDP, INEC over Obanikoro’s suit

Bode George, Agbaje rigged my election, plaintiff insists

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA—Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, directed the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to appear before him on December 23 to show cause why he should not issue an injunction stopping the party from presenting anyone as its governorship candidate in Lagos State.

PDP is further expected to on that date, adduce reasons why the INEC should not be restrained by the court from accepting any name as its gubernatorial flag-bearer in the state pending the determination of the suit that was filed by the former Minster of State for Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro.

The court gave the directive after it heard an ex-parte application that was moved by Obanikoro’s lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, who requested that an interim order of injunction be slammed against the PDP to prevent it from acting on the outcome of the governorship primary election it held in Lagos State on December 8.

Though the court declined to grant the ex-parte application, it ordered the service of the court processes on the defendants to enable them to appear to show cause why the reliefs sought by the plaintiff should not be granted.

Meantime, Obanikoro has alleged before the court that a chieftain of the PDP in Lagos State, Chief Olabode George, and the governorship candidate of the party in the state, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, recruited armed thugs who he said helped them to rig the primary election.

The plaintiff, through an affidavit he deposed to in support of the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/994/2014, challenged the authenticity of the outcome of the election in which Agbaje was declared as the winner.

It will be recalled that whereas Agbaje polled 432 votes to secure the party’s gubernatorial ticket, Obanikoro who resigned his ministerial position to join the contest was adjudged second having polled 343 votes.

However, in his affidavit, Obanikoro averred that he saw the police recover five guns and rounds of ammunition and live cartridges from the thugs he said were engage by Chief Olabode George and Agbaje.

“That the thugs earlier brought by Chief Olabode George and Mr. Jimi Agbaje, a co-aspirant, at this point began to disrupt the venue by throwing bottles, stones and firing gunshots in the direction of the delegates loyal to me and preventing other delegates loyal to me from entering the venue.

“That the gunshots attracted another detachment of policemen, who engaged the thugs in a gun and tear-gas battle during which many of the delegates loyal to me ran for their dear lives to avoid being caught in the crossfire between the police and the armed thugs.

“That I know as a fact that many of my delegates who ran for their dear lives in the ensuing violence and gun battle never returned and were consequently disenfranchised as it took the police several hours to restore some semblance of normalcy”, he added.

 


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