Edo election: Court fixes October 14 to hear PDP’s suit seeking Pastor Ize-Iyamu disqualification

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Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, adjourned to October 14, to commence hearing in the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking the disqualification of Pastor Osagie Ize-iyamu from the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.

Justice Mohammed fixed the date following an agreement by parties to hear the suit after the court’s vacation period.

The court had last week adjourned to September 16 for hearing in the application against the suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the court’s jurisdiction being a vacation court to entertain the suit.

When the matter came up, on Wednesday, counsel to the plaintiff, Chief Ken Mozia (SAN), informed the court that the matter for the day was the hearing of the APC’s objection to the suit, however, prayed the court adjourned hearing till the end of the court’s vacation period.

His request was not opposed by lawyers to the respondents.

Counsel to the APC, Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN) however drew the court’s attention to a motion on notice filed by the third respondent which he would need time to respond to.

On his part, the third respondent’s lawyer, Chief Roland Otaru (SAN) said his application filed September 15, is praying the court to make one Hilary Otsu, the deponent, to the affidavit supporting the plaintiff’s suit available for cross-examination.

After listening to counsel in the matter, Justice Mohammed then adjourned to October 14 for hearing of the substantive suit.

PDP in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/ CS/69/20, is praying the court for an order disqualifying Ize-iyamu from contesting in the September 19 governorship poll on account of not being validly nominated by his party, the APC.

In the suit filed on July 3, 2020, by its team of lawyers led by Chief Mozia, the plaintiff is claiming that Ize-iyamu was not a product of a valid primary election hence, should not be allowed to participate in the forthcoming election.

Defendants in the suit are; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), All Progressives Congress (APC) and Pastor Osagie Ize-iyamu.

Although the suit was initially instituted in the Benin Division of the Federal High Court, it was however transferred to the Abuja Division owing to the annual vacation of the Federal High Court.