By Festus Ahon – Asaba
THE Court of Appeal sitting in Asaba, has dismissed a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC seeking the nullification of the March 6 2021 Delta State Local Government elections and the sack of all 25 local government councils’ chairmen and councillors elected during the election.
The APC had challenged the election of the council officials on the grounds that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP did not conduct valid primaries for its choice of candidates in the March 6, 2021 local government council election in the state.
The party also alleged that DSIEC connivance with PDP did not observe the provisions of the DSIEC Law, 2017.
Delivering the unanimous judgment of the three-man panel, Justice Joseph Ekanem, affirmed the August 28 decision of the High Court in Ughelli which dismissed APC’s suit for lacking in merit.
Ekanem affirmed the judgement of Justice A. A. Onojovwo of Ughelli High Court 1 which had earlier ruled that APC lacked the locus standi to challenge the primary election of PDP which, the Court said was an internal affair of the party.
Agreeing with PDP’s counsel, Bernard Odior, the Court held that the APC’s appeal was unmeritorious and agreed with the trial court that the PDP held valid primaries of its candidates in the March 6, 2021 local government council election in the state.
Insisting that APC was a total stranger to PDP and as such it cannot dabble into the primary election of PDP which is an internal affairs of the PDP, the Court held that Section 285 (14) of the Construction of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) sited by APC did not apply to Delta State Local Government election.
The Appellate Court maintained that the Zamfara State case of APC vs Marafa could not apply to this case, adding that by the provision of Section 98(8) of Delta State Independent Electoral Commission Law, 2017, it was only aspirant who participated in a primary election of a political party that has the locus standi to challenge the primary election.
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