By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The Federal High Court in Abuja has declined to stop Governor Willie Obiano from parading or presenting himself as flag-bearer of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, for the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State.
The court, in a ruling it delivered on October 25, a copy of which was sighted by Vanguard yesterday, also refused to issue an order of interim injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from recognizing Obiano as candidate of APGA in the impending election, pending hearing and determination of a suit that was lodged by the Chief Martin Agbaso faction of the party.
However, Justice John Tsoho, abridged the time allowed for INEC and Obiano who were cited as 1st and 2nd defendants in the suit marked FHC/Abj/CS/913/2017, to enter their appearances, from 30 to 10 days.
The court also granted an order of substituted service of copies of the originating summons and all other court processes in the suit on Obiano through a publication in a national daily and by pasting same on the walls of Anambra State liaison office in Abuja and at the Anambra State governor’s lodge.
The orders followed an ex-parte application Agbaso and APGA, who were the plaintiffs, moved through their lawyer, Mr. O.O. Olowolafe.
Justice Tsoho further okayed accelarated hearing of the substantive suit.
Specifically, Justice Tsoho held: “It is hereby ordered as follows: That having regard to the affidavit evidence in support of the plaintiffs/applicants’ motion ex-parte dated 25/9/17 but filed on 28/9/17, prayers 1, 2, and 5 are hereby granted.
“That prayers 3 and 4 for interim injunctions are declined.
“That the suit is adjourned to the 9th day of November for this application on notice.”
It will be recalled that leadership crisis that is currently rocking the APGA, led to the emergence of two candidates for the impending governorship poll.
The candidates won parallel primary polls factions of the party held in Anambra State.
Whereas Obiano emerged from primary poll that was conducted by the Dr Victor Oye-led faction of APGA, the Agbaso-led faction nominated Chief Ifeanyi Igwebuike as their own governoship candidate.