A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja today has ordered the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to show reasons why the party’s gubernatorial primaries should hold in Rivers State without the plaintiff, Doctor Farah Dagogo.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo in suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/654/2022 ordered the PDP and INEC to show cause on May 24th 2022 why Dagogo’s application seeking injunctive orders against the PDP and INEC in respect of the PDP gubernatorial primary election for Rivers State should not be granted.
Dagogo had filed a suit on March 12, 2022, challenging his prevention from the screening exercise of his party (PDP) for the oncoming gubernatorial primary election for Rivers State having submitted all the required documents.
The presiding judge in the sitting of the court on Monday granted the order for INEC and PDP to show cause why the primaries should not be stopped.
Dagogo sought an order of the High Court to restrain INEC, (2nd Defendant) or any of its officers or agents from monitoring the conduct of the PDP (1st Defendant) primary election for the gubernatorial position for Rivers State scheduled for 26th May 2022.
He asked the Court not to allow INEC to send any of its representatives on the scheduled fixed date without his name on the list of contestants for the forthcoming primary election pending the hearing and determination of the substantive action.
Dagogo is appealing to the court to compel INEC and PDP, to include his name as one of the aspirants in the forthcoming gubernatorial primary election.
The aspirant is seeking “an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 2nd Defendant either by itself or any of its officers or agents from monitoring the conduct of 1st Defendant’s primary election for the gubernatorial position for Rivers State on 26th May 2022 or any other date fixed, without the name of the Plaintiff on the list of contestants for the said primary election pending the hearing and determination of the substantive action.”
Hon. Doctor Farah Dagogo was duly nominated by not less than 45 persons from at least two-thirds of the Local Government Areas within Rivers State, who are registered voters in their respective Local Government Areas and registered members of PDP.
According to Dagogo, he completed and submitted the said nomination form to the PDP, and accompanied them with all the relevant documents, including copies of his PDP membership card, voter’s card and sworn declarations made before a Commissioner of oaths at the High Court.
He stated that he was satisfied and abided by the guidelines, all laws, rules or regulations made by PDP relating to the conduct of primary elections.
He stated that his Primary Form was issued to him by the PDP as proof that he had met all the requirements required of him as an aspirant by the national headquarters of the party.
He had presented himself to the Screening Committee for gubernatorial aspirants in Rivers State, on the 28th of April, 2022, at the PDP Zonal Headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He disclosed that while he was waiting to receive his interim clearance papers, some individuals in mufti who claimed to be Rivers state Government House security agents led by the Camp Commandant, DSP Efeture Irikefe removed him from the sitting arrangement with the active connivance of the membership of the Screening Committee, who had ensured that he was the last person to be screened.
However, Dagogo lamented that he was whisked away to Operation Sting Police Unit/formation and later at State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (State CID) both in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the State CID quickly made an attempt to arraign him on trumped-up charges at the Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt on 29th April 2022 which proved abortive.
“There was an attempt to arraign Plaintiff/Applicant on trumped-up charges at the Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt on 29th April 2022 which proved abortive.