Edo 2024: Benin Court to rule on LP guber ticket tussle, July 19

A Federal High Court sitting in Benin, Edo State capital, has fixed judgement in the suit instituted over the governorship ticket of the Labour Party (LP) for the September 21, 2024, gubernatorial election in the state for July 19, 2024.

The matter which is before Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Benin Federal High Court, was instituted by one of the governorship aspirants in the February 23, 2024 primary of the party, Mr. Kenneth Imansuagbon, against the the party’s governorship candidate, Mr. Olu Akpata.

Imansuangbon had approached the Court in Benin and Abuja challenging Akpata as the candidate of the party for the gubernatorial election slated for September 21, 2024. 

Imansuangbon’s claims bother on the grounds that the LP did not follow the electoral guidelines in the primaries and that he (Olumide) did not fill and sign the indemnity form among others.

After two adjournments, the case eventually came up for hearing on Tuesday when written addresses from counsel of the plaintiff and defendants were adopted. 

Lead counsel to the plaintiff, A. A Malik (SAN), in his argument, prayed the court to dismiss the submission of the counsels to Olumide Akpata on the ground that the 1st defendant violated the electoral act and party’s constitution which he noted were critical elements of the electoral processes. 

Malik also pointed out that the plaintiff had disclosed reasonable cause of action on the matter, and urged the court to throw away the submission of the 1st defendant, declare and return the plaintiff as the winner or on the alternative, void, nullify, the primary election and order a fresh election. 

He claimed that the conduct of the LP primaries was marred with over-voting, which runs contrary to the party’s guidelines and its constitution. 

On his part, the counsel to the defendant and running mate to Olumide Akpata, Kadiri Asamah (SAN), submitted that the argument and submission of the plaintiff were baseless and as such could not be litigated upon by the court.

Asemah (SAN), stressed that the matter before the court is a pre-primary issue and as such be dismissed by the court.

Asamah while adopting all the arguments contained his written address, urged his court to dismiss the written address of the plaintiff, adding that it was an abuse of court processes. 

Addressing newsmen after the court session, the plaintiff, Imansuangbon, expressed confidence in the ability of the court to dispense justice in the matter, even as he reiterated his desire to bring about a better Edo State.



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