Court reserves judgment in PRP presidential aspirant’s suit against Kola Abiola 

By Taiye Agbaje

A Federal High Court, Abuja has reserved judgment in a suit filed by an aspirant, Madam Patience Key against Mr Kola Abiola, the presidential candidate, People’s Redemption Party (PRP).

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a short ruling after counsel for the parties adopted their processes for and against the suit, said the judgment date would be communicated to the parties.

Upon resumed hearing in the matter, Justice Mohammed indicated his intention to accelerate hearing in the suit on the ground that he had a handful of pre-election matters in his docket.

The judge, who said the suit was filed on June 28, said the court had only 19 days to decide the matter.

He, therefore, directed lawyers to the parties to list the processes filed in the course of the case and adopted them.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Fadima Aminu had, on Nov. 25, fixed Dec. 2 for definite hearing in the suit filed by the PRP’s female presidential aspirant.

But on the adjourned date, Justice Aminu could not continue with the matter and the case was revert back to Justice Mohammed and the matter fixed for today.

NAN reports that the plaintiff, Key, had, on June 28, sued PRP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Mr Latifu  Abiola as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.

Kola is the son of late MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

Key, in her earlier originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1001/2022, had challenged the emergence of Mr Abiola as the party’s presidential candidate, among others.

She had prayed the court to nullify the poll that produced Abiola as the PRP’s presidential candidate, among others.

But in an amended originating summons granted by the court dated Aug. 31 and filed on Sept. 2, the plaintiff sought a consequential order setting aside the submission of Abiola’s name by PRP to INEC on June 15 as the flag,-bearer and presidential candidate for 2023 election on account of gross violations of the party’s guidelines for the conduct of primaries and the provisions of the Electoral Act

She also sought an order setting aside the declaration of Abiola as the winner of the June 5 presidential primaries held across the federation and submitted to INEC on June 15.

Key prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the electoral umpire from further recognising Abiola as the party’s presidential candidate.

She also prayed for an order directing the party to conduct fresh presidential primary election nationwide, with her and Abiola participating, and for same to be monitored by INEC.

She further prayed for an order directing the PRP to pay her the sum of N200 million only as exemplary damages for causing her unnecessary hardship, waste of time and resources in campaigning, touring, funding of her presidential campaigns which the party organised.

She said the party was in breach of Section 84 (5)(b){i) and (ii) ot the Electoral Act 2022, INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries, Article 5 (13(a)(i-ix) of the Constitution of the PRP’s Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the 2023 General Election,” among others.

However, in a consequential amendment of PRP’s counter affidavit dated and filed on Nov. 5, the acting chairman of the party from January to April, Mr Mohammed Nasiru, disowned Omowumi Braimoh, the deponent to the affidavit in support of Madam Key’s amended originating summons.

According to Nasiru, the deponent is not a member of the 1st defendant (PRP) and not known to the 1st defendant.

He said contrary to the okaibtuff’s claim, the party issued series of revised guidelines for the nomination of its candidates for the 2023 genera] rlection before it finally issued its timetable.

 He also denied, contrary to Paragraphs 4a and 4b of the affidavit in support of the amended originating summons, that the party’s presidential primary election was not held across the 36 states of the federation, but only at the Federal Capital Territory.

He argued that INEC was duly notified about the exercise and it monitored the election conduct.,(NAN)