Hearing of a suit seeking to disqualify Mr Osagie Ize-iyamu from the Sept. 19 governorship election in Edo was on Tuesday, stalled at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The suit was filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was slated for hearing on Sept. 8.
However, when the case was called, counsel to the PDP, Mr Ferdinand Orbih (SAN) told the court that he just received a motion of preliminary objection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and needed to respond to it.
“The matter was for hearing today, but i was served in court this morning with the Notice of Preliminary Objection by the second defendant, (APC) and I will want to react to it,”he told the court.
Counsel to INEC, Mr Alhassan Umar, (SAN) and Ize-Iyamu, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) all said they had received the motion and also asked for time to respond.
In the application, the APC is asking the court to strike out the suit for being incompetent.
Some of the grounds, the application was predicated upon are: that the suit cannot be heard during the court’s vacation period.
The APC also contended that the suit did not meet the conditions precedent laid down in Order 46 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 and that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
The APC accordingly prayed the court for a declaration that the suit was incompetent having failed to comply with conditions precedent laid down in Order 46 Rule 5.
“An order setting aside all the proceedings in the suit which occurred during the court’s annual vacation period in particular, all the proceedings of this court sitting in the Benin Judicial Division for being incompetent and a nullity”.
The PDP had in its suit, prayed the court for an order disqualifying Ize-Iyamu from contesting in the governorship poll on account of not being validly nominated by his party, the APC.
The PDP claimed that Ize-Iyamu was not a product of a valid primary election, hence, should not be allowed to participate in the forthcoming election.
The suit was initially instituted in the Benin Division of the Federal High Court, but it was transferred to the Abuja Division owing to the annual vacation of the Court.