Despite the explicit provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and many decisions of the Appeal Court, which state that only an aspirant who participated in a primary election of a political party can challenge the nomination of a candidate, a Bayelsan woman, Blessing Clement Azibanagbal is seeking a declaration that Gov. Douye Diri and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo are not qualified to contest as candidates of the People’s Democratic Party in the coming November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
According to the processes filed at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, Azibanagbal’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Nsowu, is claiming that Ewhrudjakpo was not qualified to contest as Governor Diri’s running mate because he has multiple names without any evidence to prove “that he is the same person.” Consequently, the action is seeking an order of mandatory injunction, directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the names of Diri and Ewhrudjakpo as PDP’s candidates in the Nov. 11 poll and to declare further that the PDP had no candidate in the poll.
The Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Emeka Nwite, has, however, granted an ex-parte application that Diri and Ewhrudjakpo be served at the Government House in Bayelsa through courier service and adjourned the hearing of the substantive suit to 30th November 2023
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