The Ben Nwoye leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State has scaled a legal hurdle on its way to the national convention of the party on June 23.
The Federal High Court Enugu on Thursday reserved judgment for June 26 on the suit filed by Okey Ogbodo faction, challenging the election of Nwoye as the State Chairman of the party.
The Court earlier granted an ex-parte order in favour of the plaintiffs, but the order elapsed yesterday, even as the presiding judge, Justice A.M. Liman reserved judgment after hearing all the applications in the substantive suit.
Although the election of Nwoye leadership had been validated by the electoral and appeal panels of APC national secretariat, Ogbodo had asked the court to declare him as the chairman.
Joining APC National Chairman, John Oyegun, APC and Dr Ben Nwoye as defendants, Ogbodo claimed that he emerged from a state congress of the party on May 19 at the venue designated by the national executive of APC.
The hearing of the suit almost suffered a setback yesterday when one of the defendants counsel, Godwin Onwusi Esq., urged the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.
Arguing the defendants motion for preliminary objection, Onwusi said the suit was flawed as the platform the plaintiff claimed he was elected does not exist.
Onwusi explained that the party was registered as All Progressives Congress and not All Progressive Congress as used by the plaintiff in his entire suit.
He said the third defendant, All Progressive Congress, on whose platform the plaintiff claimed he was elected does not exist.
“It is a misnomer. They cannot even seek to correct it now. He said the plaintiffs cannot seek to correct it now. They cannot correct it” Onwusi said.
He also noted that the powers of the Federal High Court were clearly spelt out in section 251 of the constitution and no Federal agency, even the Independent National Electoral Commission was mentioned in the suit.
Onwusi further argued that the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs were not justiceable as it relates to the internal affairs of a political party.
He equally pointed out that the suit is flawed as it did not comply with the schedules and court processes Act, Section 97 and 98.
Responding, Abdu Mohammed, the plaintiff counsel, told the court that they had filed a motion to amend the suit, which would not overreach any party.
Making a bench ruling on the ground relating to the name of the party, Justice Liman said the plaintiff has admitted his mistake by filing a motion for amendment and throwing the entire suit away on that grounds would not serve the interest of justice.
Liman also struck out a motion filed by the plaintiff to dismiss the entire preliminary objection of the defendants for not complying with rules of court.
The Judge reserved judgment on the suit for June 26.