News

February 17, 2023

2023 poll: Court restrains PDP, INEC from suspending, disqualifying Ortom

20 dead, as herders raid Benue communities

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Thursday at the Benue State High Court obtained an interim order restraining the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from suspending or disqualifying him from contesting the forthcoming 2023 senatorial election in the state.

Governor Ortom is the PDP candidate in the Benue North West Senatorial District election.

The ex-parte motion in a suit No. MHC/46/2023, Motion no. MHC/2204/2023 was brought before Justice Augustine Ityonyiman sequel to an affidavit deposed to by a prominent Benue politician, Mr. Abraham Kwaghngu and filed on February 15, 2023. The PDP is the first defendant in the suit while INEC is the second defendant.

The Governor had through his counsel, Sebastian Hon, a Senior Advocate, sought an order of the Court restraining PDP and INEC from expelling, suspending, levying any other punishment and or refusing to place his name on its list of candidates.

Ruling on the motion, Justice Ityonyiman held that “upon calm perusal of the processes filed particularly the affidavit in support of motion and the affidavit of urgency and upon the oral arguments of learned Senior Counsel, Sebastian Hon on behalf of the Applicant, I think this application must be and is hereby granted in terms of reliefs (1) to (4) of the motion. It is hereby ordered as follows.
“An order is hereby made restraining the 1st Defendant/Respondent either by itself or its National Working Commitiee and/or National Executive Council and/or its National officers (elected or appointed) and/or its North Central Zonal Executive Officers (elected or appointed) and/or its Benue State Officers (elected or appointed) and/or its Guma Local Government Area Officers (elected or appointed) and/or its Nzorov Council Ward Officers (elected or appointed) or any of its other organs or officials (anyhow so called) from expelling, suspending or levying any other punishment on the Plaintiff/Applicant pending the determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.

“An interim order of injunction that is also made restaining the second Defendant/Respondent either by itself or any of its Officials/Officers/Directors/Departmental or other Heads/any other officer by whatever name called from receiving and/or acting upon any communication made by the 1st Defendant/Respondent seeking to disqualify from contesting or seeking nor to be placed on the ballot paper the name of the Plaintff/Applicant as the 1st Defendant’s candidate for the Benue North West Senatorial District in the 2023 general election pending the determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.

“An order of interim injunction is made restraining the 2nd Defendant/Respondent either by itself or any of its Officials/Officers/Directors/Departmental or other Heads/any other officer by whatever name called from refusing for whatever reason to place the name of the Plaintiff/Applicant on the ballot to contest the Benue North West Senatorial election slated for February 25th, 2023 or any other rescheduled dated pending the determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory Injunction.”

The Court fixed February 24, 2023 for the hearing of the Motion on Notice.