The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday dismissed a suit challenging the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State to adopt indirect primary election to pick its candidate for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
Delivering the judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo upheld the preliminary objections filed by the APC to challenge the suit, ruling that the suit had been caught in the statute of limitation.
Justice Taiwo held that it was needless to go into the proprietary of the party’s choice of indirect primary since the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case since it had been statute-barred.
He said the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2019 was a pre-election matter which ought to have been heard and determined within 180 days as provided by Section 285(10) of the Nigerian Constitution.
The judge said although the suit was filed only on July 18, 2019, it was clearly premised on another one marked FHC/ABJ/CS/833/2019 which, instead of being determined within 180 days was only ruled upon on Monday.
On the grounds of statute limitation in the earlier judgment on Monday, Justice Taiwo dismissed the said foundational suit which was instituted by the Chairman and Secretary of a parallel executive committee of the APC in the state, Haddy Ametuo and Tam Adejoh respectively.
The suit was instituted against the APC and Abdullahi Bello, who is the Chairman of the Governor Yahaya Bello-backed faction of the party in the state. This faction of the APC is also recognized by the national body of the party.
The plaintiffs, represented by Mr. Oluwole Aladedoye had prayed the court to order the APC not to adopt indirect primary to pave the way for a direct primary which would allow all card-carrying members of the party to vote.
Aladedoye argued that if the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party was not stopped, the party would go ahead to adopt indirect primary and his clients, not being the faction recognized by the national leadership of the party would not be allowed to vote as delegates at the primary.
He further noted that the APC NWC adopted the indirect primary for Kogi State election in disregard of a pending suit on the disputed leadership of the party in the state.