Akwa Ibom Ex-Chief of Staff, Inyangeyen, four others withdraw suit challenging PDP ward Congress

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The former Chief of Staff to Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen and four others who were among the 31 plaintiffs challenging the ward congress of the Peoples Democratic Party held on April 30, 2022, have withdrawn their suit at the federal high court sitting in Abuja.

In a statement by the Special Assistant to Governor Emmanuel on Research and Documentation, Mr Ndueso Essien, made available to our correspondent in Uyo, plaintiffs who backed out of the case, include Mr Uduot Jack, Uko Idiong, Moses Edet Essien, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang Eyen and Chief Ufikaro Efet.

The presiding judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu did not oppose their decision but struck out their names thereafter.

The statement read, “On Tuesday, five of the 31 plaintiffs announced their disinterest to continue and opted to withdraw from the suit. This was not opposed by the counsel to the defendants with Justice Obiora Egwuatu promptly striking out the names of the five persons from the plaintiffs.”

Meanwhile, Counsel to the plaintiffs, Ahmed Raji, SAN in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/606/2022- filed by Rt. Hon. Friday Iwok and 30 others against the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Akwa Ibom State PDP and 329 Adhoc delegates elected during the Ward Congress in the State prayed the court to nullify the Congress as well as the party primaries.

Raji had in his motion described the primaries as a breach of the order of the court even as he sought an order barring INEC from accepting the lists of candidates produced by PDP from its primaries.

He argued among other things that there is no provision for screening of aspiring delegates and referred to a letter by the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP who announced the primaries for April 30 and said the names of cleared aspiring delegates have been sent to the respective wards in the state, an indication according to him that people were excluded from the exercise through the screening process.

But Paul Usoro, SAN Counsel to the defendants specifically urged the court to dismiss the application, citing the existent laws that the Court has no authority to stop the conduct of any election by a political party and also based on the fact that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain their application.

He said the letter by the Publicity Secretary did not preclude any member of the party from participating in the congress of April 30th,2022 adding that the letter even urged all members of the party across the state to take part in the exercise in their respective wards.

He, however, referred the court to the submissions of the plaintiffs where they acknowledged that the Ward Congress Committee was set up by the National Working Committee of the Party with Dr Ibrahim Umar as chairman.

Similarly, counsel to the 3rd to 331st defendants, Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko, SAN, told the court it never made such an order on status quo ante Bellum, as what was recorded was only advice.

He reminded the court that it would have been impossible for the court to stop the primaries of the PDP in breach of existing laws and authorities.

Nwoko said further that the originating summons was too weak for the case arguing that no evidence indicated that the plaintiffs showed interest in the Ward congress primaries as they did not buy the form

Following arguments, Justice Obiora Egwuatu announced July 15, 2022, for Judgement on all the issues.

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