Hearing of a suit seeking to disqualify Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu from contesting the Sept. 19 governorship election in Edo was on Tuesday stalled at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The suit, which was filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 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) said that they had received the motion and also asked for time to respond to it.
In the application, the APC is asking the court to strike out the suit for being incompetent.
One of the grounds on which the application was based is that the suit could not 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 to declare that the suit was incompetent, having failed to comply with conditions precedent laid down in Order 46 Rule 5.
The court was asked to issue “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 the governorship poll on the grounds that he was not validly nominated by his party, the APC.
The PDP claimed that Ize-Iyamu was not a product of a valid primary election of the party and, therefore, 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 Ab