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Alexander Okere, Benin
A Federal High Court sitting in Benin, the Edo State capital, has fixed July 1, 2016, for hearing of a motion filed by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party seeking to restrain the leader of a faction of the party, Modu Sheriff, from conducting another primary for the forthcoming governorship poll in the state.
The party, in suit number FHC/B/CS/109/2016, is also seeking to restrain a member of the Federal House of Representatives, Mr. Johnson Agbonayima; Matthew Iduoriyekemwen and the Independent National Electoral Commission from participating in the primary,
The originating summons filed by the opposition party, through its state Legal Adviser, Prof. Edoba Omoregie, came just as the committee set up by the Sheriff-led faction insisted that it would go ahead with the exercise on Wednesday.
The Chairman of the pro-Sheriff state caretaker committee, Mr. Ebenezer Alabi, told journalists that a total of 520 delegates woud elect the party’s governorship candidate at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.
He also disclosed that two aspirants – Agbonayima and Iduoriyekemwen – would contest the election.
Also, a member of the committee, Okharedia Ihimekpen, said, “INEC officials will be arriving from Abuja to supervise the exercise. So, INEC is coming. The exercise will take place at the tennis court section of the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium.
“We have 520 delegates that will elect the governorship candidate; they are called ad hoc delegates from the 192 wards in the state. So, those thinking that INEC will shun the exercise are wasting their time.”
However, the Orbih-led leadership of the state chapter advised all parties in the dispute to refrain from taking any action, including conducting or participating in the proposed governorship primary, pending the July 1 hearing of the motion.
The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, on Tuesday, said, “We wish to reiterate once again that the Edo PDP has held its primary and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has been nominated as our governorship candidate for the September 10, 2016 governorship election in the state.
“We urge the good people of Edo State to remain patient and calm as a new government that is prepared to meet their aspiration is about to be enthroned.”
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Source: Punch News