This is not the Ides of March but its’ 15th February 2023, it is a day the Federal High Court Enugu will deliver judgment on whether the state Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) primaries was conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act.
It is a day the fate of party’s’ Governorship candidate and others will be determined. Many are anxious just because of one man that is Mr. Peter Mbah, a lawyer, a successful businessman and a man in the class of former Governor of the State Bar Sullivan Chime, unarguably the best governor ever produced in the state since the return of the country to democracy in 1999. Peter Mbah, was Commissioner for Finance while Sullivan Chime was the Attorney General during the administration of Governor Chimaroke Nnamani.
The Question is, will Peter Mbah carry the day and crush his detractors like the Japanese did on this day 15th February 1942, at Battle of Singapore, also known as the Fall of Singapore, when the Empire of Japan invaded the British stronghold of Singapore destroyed the Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival British Defence and captured 80,000 British and Allied soldiers in what the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the ignominious fall of Singapore to the Japanese and the “worst disaster” and “largest capitulation” in British military history.
In the present case suit marked No: FHC/EN/CS/217/2022, the Enugu North Senatorial district candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chika Idoko, as the Plaintiff sought for an order of the court to disqualify all the PDP candidates standing for next general elections because the party contravened Section 77 of the Electoral Act and should thus be nullified and the party be punished in accordance the provisions of Section 84 of the Electoral Act.
The main contention of the Plaintiff was that the party submitted its membership register to INEC on May 6, 2022, less than 30 days to its primary election, contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act.
There are conflicting decisions on issue of whether this plaintiff has locus to institute this action, being a non party member, but i am constrained by the recent decision of Court of Appeal Portharcourt Division last month 5th January 2023, where the Court in the case ABUEH & OTHERS V. PDP & OTHERS Suit No: CA/PH/557/2022 reported in (2023) LPELR) held that:
“A political party is not allowed by extant Electoral Act, 2022 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to sue another political party in a bid to challenge the nomination of the latter party’s candidates elected from primary election conducted by the latter political party and seeking to prevent the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from acting on the list of candidates submitted to it by the political party sued.”- Per ADEGBEHINGBE ,J.C.A (Pp. 4 paras. C)
So at the end of the day the good man may crush his detractors like the Japanese.
Be that as it may we wish Peter Mbah all the best, and commend its’ Pinnacle oil for assisting the citizenry since the outbreak of recent fuel scarcity, by selling at an official price of N185 Naira per liter at its’ petrol station in Enugu.
Though most of the people interviewed extol Mbah but seeks change in respect of both Federal and state legislators who have been at the respective legislative Houses for many terms but contributed little or no development to their constituencies
For: Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN);
Olu Omotayo Esq.