Court Orders INEC To Include PDP In Plateau Assembly Rerun

inecA Federal High Court sitting in Jos has given an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from excluding the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate from participating in the re-run election for the Langtang South constituency of Plateau State.

Justice Dorcas Agishi in her ruling on the motion exparte brought by the PDP, stated that the electoral body should include the plaintiff’s name and logo on the ballot papers to be used in the re-run election scheduled for Saturday, February 20.

Sequel to the motion on the notice filed by the plaintiff in which the court was urged to grant the application and in the better interest of justice, the court asked the respondent to be put on notice to appear before it within 72 hours to state reasons why the interim injunction sought by the applicant, should not be granted.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, counsel to the plaintiff, Sam Oyewole, explained that both the motion on notice and the origination summons were served on the respondent even beyond the stipulated 72 hours, as ordered by the court.

The counsel argued further that since he had not been served of any process by the respondent; it implies that the plaintiff’s application had not been contested by the respondent, hence the plaintiff should be granted the reliefs sought, as contained in the motion paper.

In his argument, counsel to INEC accepted that the respondent was served the order of the court, but made a plea for extension of time for which the respondent would show cause, why the interim injunction should not be granted.

He told the court that INEC office in Plateau worked hand in hand with the headquarters, which had made it apparently impossible to take decisions without adequate consultation from the headquarters.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Agishi observed that the respondent was not entitled to any indulgence since it could not file any affidavit or response on the earlier order issued by the court.

She therefore, submitted that the reason given by the respondent counsel was weak and that the action was deliberate to delay the suit and with no enough evidence to show cause not to grant the relief of the applicant.

Counsel to INEC told Channels Television that he would have to brief the National Headquarters on the ruling while the next step would be determined by the head office.

The substantive motion on notice for interlocutory injunction has been adjourned to Thursday, February 18, 2016.

Police Defy Court Order, Remain In Enugu Assembly Complex

EnuguThe Nigeria Police is yet to comply with the Federal High Court order, contained in an interim injunction granted in favour of the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly and, the 15 members of the House.

The court had on May 11, ordered the Nigerian Police to vacate Enugu State House of Assembly Complex and the order subsists, pending the determination of the suit brought by State Assembly Speaker, Eugene Odoh, on behalf of 15 members of the house.

The order also allowed the Speaker and the other 15 lawmakers to have access to the legislative complex, particularly the chambers.

The presiding Judge, Justice Dorcas Agishi, said since the matter was for mention, the parties should take a date for hearing, but Mr Okibe informed the court that it was a case of Enforcement of Fundamental Human Rights, adding that they needed a short date for expediency of motion.

Justice Agishi then adjourned the matter to May 26 and ordered that hearing notices be served on all respondents.

Mr Okibe then noted in an interview that since the respondents have failed to bring any representation or respond to the suit, should they fail to report on May 26 as adjourned, the judge would have no choice but enter into judgment which would be delivered in their favour.

However, the police were still stationed with their vehicles at the House of Assembly Complex at Independence Layout.

Efforts to speak with the Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, to provide reasons for their continued stay in spite of the court order was fruitless.