Politics

Delta council polls: Appeal court dismisses APC’s suit against PDP

A suppoter tries to display All Progressives Congress (APC) party flag on a pole, during incumbent President Mohammadu Buhari's presidential campaign rally at the Sanni Abacha Stadium in Kano, on January 31, 2019. - Buhari has flag off campaign in Kano, the commercial nerve centre of northern Nigeria to seek re-election at the forthcoming February polls. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP) (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Court of Appeal sitting in Asaba has dismissed a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) seeking to sack all 25 local government councils’ chairmen and councillors in Delta State.

The APC had challenged the election of the council officials on the grounds that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did not conduct valid primaries for its choice of candidates in March 6, 2021, local government council election in the state.

The APC also alleged that DSIEC colluded with PDP without observing the provisions of the DSIEC Law, 2017.

In a judgment delivered on Friday, a three-man panel of the court affirmed the August 28 decision of the High Court in Ughelli which dismissed APC’s suit for lacking in merit.

Delivering the unanimous judgment of the court, Justice Joseph Ekanem presiding, affirmed the judgment of Justice A. A. Onojovwo of Ughelli High Court 1 which had earlier ruled that APC lacked the locus standi to challenge the primary election of PDP which is an internal affair of the party.

The court in its judgment agreed with PDP’s counsel, Bernard Odior and held that the APC’s appeal was unmeritorious.

In particular, the Court of Appeal also agreed with the trial court that the PDP held valid primaries of its candidates in March 6, 2021, local government council election in the state.

The Court held that APC is a total stranger to PDP and as such, it cannot dabble into the primary election of PDP which is an internal affair of the PDP.

That Section 285 (14) of the Construction of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) sited by APC did not apply to Delta State Local Government election.

That the Zamfara State case of APC vs Marafa cannot apply to this case and that by the provision of Section 98(8) of Delta State Independent Electoral Commission Law, 2017, it is only aspirant who participated in a primary election of a political party that has the locus standi to challenge the primary election.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, APC approached the appellate court and failed.

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