Ward Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Igbotako II Ward 04 in Okitipupa Local Government Area, Ondo State, Alhaji Usman Lawal, has thrown spanners in the move by businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, to restrain the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party from presenting candidate for the November 26 governorship election.
Ibrahim, in a suit filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja, urged the court to among others, restrain the Makarfi faction from organising primary and presenting a candidate for the party in the governorship election.
Lawal has applied to be joined as defendant in the suit filed by Ibrahim in his name and PDP, with Makarfi, Ben Obi, Odion Ugbesia, Abdul Ningi, Karibu Usman, Dayo Adeyeye, Alhaja Aisha Aliyu and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as defendants.
Lawal, who claimed to be Ibrahim’s cousin and the PDP Ward Chairman in Igbotako II Ward 04 in Okitipupa Local Government Area, Ondo State, questioned his right to sue as a member of the PDP and in the party’s name when he is not a member of the PDP.
The party’s chairman, who exhibited the register of the party’s members in his Ward, said Ibrahim’s name is not contained in the register.
He said Ibrahim belonged to a party called Accord and has not obtained any “waiver” to contest the forthcoming governorship election under the banner of the PDP.”
Lawal has also filed a notice of preliminary objection to the suit and urged the court not hear it for lack of jurisdiction.
He also queried Ibrahim’s locus standi (right to sue in relation to an issue) to institute the case.
Yesterday, Justice Okon Abang could not hear the case owing to the plaintiffs’ failure to effect service of the processes and hearing notice on the defendants.
Plaintiffs’ lawyer Oladele Oyelami said he was unable to serve Senator Makarfi and the other defendants.
He acknowledged that the case was slated for hearing yesterday, but that he was unable to serve the defendants with the originating processes and hearing notice. He sought time to effect proper service of processes on the defendants.
Ruling, Justice Abang noted that an earlier vacation judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, granted the plaintiffs leave for the case to be heard during vacation. He said he could not review that order because he is of equal jurisdiction with the judge that made the earlier order.
The judge, who noted that service was important, said he could not hear the suit when proper service has not been effected, despite the leave earlier granted the plaintiffs by the court.
He adjourned to September 1, 2016 for hearing of pending applications.