Edo APC battle shifts to Court of Appeal

Edo State governorship aspirants in the All Progressives Congress (APC) were yet to know the outcome of the party’s screening exercise as of 8 pm on Thursday.

The Screening Committee delayed the release of its findings.

The aspirants screened are Governor Godwin Obaseki, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Dr Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiemwonyi, Osaro Obazee and Matthew Iduoroyekemwen.

The aspirants were to be screened on Wednesday and Thursday while those who are aggrieved by the outcome were to appeal today.

The aspirants’ supporters and journalists were still waiting for the outcome as of 8.13 pm when our reporter left the party secretariat.

The appeal committee is expected to sit today in line with the schedule.

The Federal High Court in Benin has said it would wait for the Court of Appeal to determine its jurisdiction to decide on the mode of primary to be adopted for the June 22 shadow poll.

The appellate court will consider the case on June 16. Parties will return to the lower court June 17 for the hearing of an application by some APC members on whether the primary election would be by direct or indirect mode.

Justice Mohammed Umar said his June 8 orders would still subsist, an indication that parties to the suit must not take any action on the primary election, pending the decision of the Court of Appeal.

Obaseki’s allies are seeking to restrain the APC National Working Committee (NWC) from using the direct mode for the primary.

The suit was filed by the factional Edo Deputy Chairman of APC, Kenneth Asekomhe, and one of the governorship aspirants on the party’s platform, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen.

They cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2018 resolution of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) as the grounds for their action.

Through their counsel, Ken Mozia (SAN) and John Odubela (SAN), they argued that the APC Constitution provides that the states should suggest the mode of the primary election to the NWC.

APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo state, INEC and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) are the respondents.

The PDP in Edo said it will elect delegates from the 18 Local Government Areas for the governorship primaries on June 16.

State chairman Dr Tony Aziegbemi told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said once the election was done, the party would be ready for the primary billed for June 19.

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