Enugu: PDP candidates escape disqualification as court dismisses suit

A Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, on Friday, struck out a suit seeking to disqualify all the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Enugu State from taking part in the 2023 elections.

The matter, which was instituted by the Enugu North Senatorial district candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Chika Idoko, sought the disqualification of all PDP candidates for breach of time frame in the submission of its membership register to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Idoko claimed that the PDP primary election was in contravention of Section 77 of the Electoral Act and should thus be voided, adding that the party should be punished in line with extant provisions of Section 84 of the same Act.

His argument was that the party submitted its membership register to INEC on May 6, 2022, less than 30 days before its primary election, contrary to the provisions of the law.

Delivering judgment, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo, held that the plaintiff, having been not a member of the defendant’s political party, lacked the locus standi to challenge the internal affair of another party.

Giwa-Ogunbanjo held that the judicial authorities of the Court of Appeal at its various divisions in the country had decided on the issue of locus standi, where a non-party member cannot challenge the internal affair of another political party.

The Judge struck out the case for lack of jurisdiction.

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