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2023: Confusion in Ebonyi PDP as courts give conflicting judgments on party’s primaries – From Magnus Aluma/Abakaliki

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital on Friday validated the Primary elections of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) conducted on 28th and 29th of May, 2022, that produced Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii as the party’s governorship candidate, as well as other  candidates of the various elective positions for the upcoming 2023 general elections.
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SummitNews recalls that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had few days ago voided the same Primary elections of the Party  conducted same dates.

But Justice Fatun Riman, of the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, on Friday validated the same PDP Primary elections of 28th and 29th May, 2022 wherein a great number of candidates including Dr. Odii emerged winners.

Riman ruled that the PDP primary elections conducted on that 28th and 29th still subsist and remained valid.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after the ruling, the counsel to PDP, Barr. Mudi Erenede, referred to media publications that Tochukwu Okorie,  chairman of PDP got judgment in Abuja nullifying the Primaries of PDP, and said that the party is yet to see that judgement, adding that Okorie did not make Dr. Odii who is the governorship candidate of PDP a party to that suit. 

“We have been inundated with social media publications that Tochukwu Okorie, the chairman of PDP got judgment in Abuja, nullifying the Primaries of PDP. We are yet to see that judgement because he did not make Anyichuks who is the governorship candidate of PDP a party to that suit. 

“He also did not make Silas Onu, whom he is disputing the chairmanship with him a defendant to that suit. So, they just filed a suit between the nominal defendants, he claimed to have sued PDP and INEC, the national adviser to PDP was never aware of that suit until this news started breaking on social media.

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“You know when you engage in illegality, sometimes you undo yourself without knowing. We discovered that the same Tochukwu Okorie, aided by the same lawyer filed the same suit they are celebrating with the same issue in Abuja, but the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court transferred it back to this Abakaliki Federal High Court.

“The court in a judgment that was just delivered, held that Tochukwu Okorie, is in abuse of the judicial processes. For him to be filing the same suits, in several divisions over one dispute is what we call in law forum shopping.

“Tochukwu Okorie is involved in forum shopping and we refered the court to suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/871/2022, also filed by Tochukwu Okorie, and Obinna Ogba, in Abuja and was transferred here. 

“The practice they have been engaging is to file cases in other divisions were they can get cheap judgement. The essence of this judgement is that the claims filed by Tochukwu Okorie, which is for the court to set aside the Primaries of 28th and 29th, to set aside the Congresses of PDP, have been dismissed by this court today.

“And this judgment is later in time, to the one they are celebrating in Abuja. We want to tell the general public that the mandate of Chief Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, and all other candidates of PDP who participated in the Primaries of 28th and 29th May 2022 remains valid and subsisting” he stated

In a swift reaction, the PDP state Chairman, Tochukwu Okorie, said he had the intention of withdrawing the same suit before it was dismissed today.

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He stated that the judgment delivered today (Friday) by Justice Fatun Riman, has nothing to do with the earlier judgment that was delivered in Abuja by justice Binta Nyako.

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