The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Monday at the Federal High Court in Abuja suffered a setback in its legal battle seeking disqualification of governorship and National Assembly candidates of the Labour Party, LP, and Young Progressives Party, YPP, in the 2023 general elections.
The controversial suit was thrown out by the court for want of diligent prosecution.
PDP had through its counsel, Egwuaba Reuben, dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Labour Party and Young Progressives Party before the court praying for outright disqualification of their governorship and National Assembly candidates.
The grouse of the PDP against the LP and YPP was that the two parties failed to conduct primary elections before the submission of their candidates’ names to the electoral body.
Specifically, PDP alleged that the LP and YPP breached sections 29, 82 and 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 in their respective primary elections that produced the candidates for the 2023 general elections.
Among others, PDP claimed that the two parties failed to give INEC mandatory 21 days’ notice as required by law before conducting their respective purported selection processes.
PDP, therefore, prayed the court to make a declaration that the two parties never conducted any primary elections on any day to select or nominate candidates whose names were purportedly published by INEC to contest the 2023 elections.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1899/2022, PDP sought an order of the Court nullifying the published names of candidates of the two parties and another order compelling INEC to delete the names of the published candidates.
The party further applied for another order nullifying the result sheets of the purported primaries on grounds of being illegal, invalid and of no effect whatsoever.
However, at Monday’s proceedings, neither PDP nor its counsel was in court and no explanation was offered for their absence in court.
Following an application for striking out of the suit, Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo agreed that PDP was not diligent in the handling of the sensitive suit.
The judge subsequently struck out the suit and ordered parties in the matter to bear their respective cost of litigation.