By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the federal high court, Abuja, yesterday, sacked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator-elect, representing Delta North Senatorial District, Peter Nwaoboshi.
The court held that the serving senator was not the winner of October 2, 2018, PDP primary held to select a candidate for the 2019 general election.
He therefore, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the name of Ned Nwoko as a candidate of the PDP.
He held that Nwoko has demonstrated and established the fact before the court he scored a majority of the lawful votes at the primary election.
The court also ordered Nwaoboshi to abstain from parading himself as the candidate of the PDP for the senatorial zone.
The plaintiff, through his counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN) approached the court, asking for an order to stop INEC from publishing or further publishing the name of Senator Nwaoboshi as the candidate for Delta North senatorial district.
Also in the suit, Nwoko prayed the court for an order compelling the PDP to forward his name to INEC as the authentic candidate of the party for the senatorial district in the 2019 general election.
Substantiating the suit is a 20-paragraph affidavit evidence, where he claimed among other things that at the end of the primary election, he scored 453 votes to defeat his closest rival, Peter Nwaoboshi who scored 405 while Paul Osaji came third with 216 votes.
Nwoko, however, claimed that to his surprise, the PDP left the result of the primary election and forwarded Nwaoboshi’s name as its candidate for the senatorial district.
He disclosed that all efforts to redress the injustice through the party’s appeal panel were unsuccessful.
Responding, the defense submitted that the suit was statute barred since it was not filed within the 14 days provided for by law.
They also claimed that the suit constituted an abuse of court process since the plaintiff had earlier filed a similar suit at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court which was struck out.
In his judgment, Justice Mohammed held that the case of the plaintiff was not statute barred and did not also not an abuse of court process.
The court held that the plaintiff had established that he was winner of the October 2, 2018 primary.
According to him, the PDP failed to produce ballot papers used for the election when ordered to do so in December, 2018.
The judge held that he was satisfied with the Certified True Copies (CTC) of the ballot papers used for the primary election and made available to the court by the plaintiff to establish his case.
INEC, PDP and the sacked senator were mentioned as defendants in the matter.