1st March, 2011
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday re-instated Theodore Orji as the Abia Peopleâ€™s Democratic Partyâ€™s (PDP) governorship candidate.
Delivering judgment, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, said that Orji participated in the primaries conducted by the state executive of the party recognised by law.
Kolawole held that a court had earlier dissolved a faction of the party executive, which returned Ikechi Emenike, the plaintiff, as the governorship candidate.
He said that the former executive had been challenged for effecting major modification on the party guidelines without the consent of the national secretariat of the party.
â€œIn the light of these verifiable actions, furnished the court as evidence, the suit is hereby struck out for lack of merit.
â€œMr. Theodore Orji is, therefore, duly reinstated as the candidate of the party to contest the governorship position in Abia in the April general elections,â€ he added.
Kolawole said that the evidence before the court showed that the plaintiff had neither been a bonafide member of the party nor participated in the partyâ€™s zonal governorship screening done in Enugu.
Kolawole had on Feb.11 granted an ex-parte application brought by the plaintiff (Emenike) barring Orji from being recognised as the PDP governorship candidate for the state.
The court also granted an order of interim injunction restraining INEC, its agents, servants or privies from accepting or giving any recognition to any other candidates apart from Emenike, pending the determination of the case.
Kolawole similarly made an order of interim injunction restraining the PDP and its acting national chairman, their servants, agents and or privies from recognising or submitting to INEC the name of Orji.
The court equally made an order of interim mandatory injunction compelling INEC to keep open and extant the PDP slot as one of the political parties entitled to contest the 2011 general elections for the office of the governor of Abia.
Emenike, through his Counsel, Chief Niyi Akintola, had gone to court seeking among other reliefs, an order of the court to stop PDP from submitting the name of Orji to INEC as the partyâ€™s governorship candidate in the state.
Both Counsel to PDP and Orji, Chief Olusola Oke and Dr Uzo Ezeoku, had respectively objected to the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.