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Justice T.B. Adegoke of the Federal High Court, Asaba today concluded final hearing in the suit brought by the factional chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Delta State, Chief Cyril Ogodo versus the APC, the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the factional chairman, Prophet Jones Ode Erue, following the address by counsels to the parties, and adjourned till Monday, March 18, 2019 for judgment.
In the suit, Chief Ogodo is seeking among about 23 other reliefs, a declaration that he is the authentic chairman of the APC in Delta State, and that any and every action purportedly taken, initiated or carried out by the fourth defendant, Prophet Jones Erue as chairman of APC (first defendant) by the second defendant (national Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole) in Delta State following his purported inauguration, swearing-in and recognition and/or appointment by the National Chairman as chairman of APC in Delta State is/and null, void and of no effect.
While addressing the court today, Counsel to APC and the National Chairman, Mr. A. Akintola (SAN)the court to dismiss this suit as incompetent. He told the court that the entire process should be set aside because the writs were not marked concurrent and endorsed.
Mr. Ojediran, the INEC’s counsel adopted a written address filed on 17/10/2018 as well as the arguments in it as their submissions, and urged the court to uphold the third defendant’s preliminary objection . “We did not receive the plaintiff’s notice to the third defendant’s preliminary objection. The counsel then urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit.
For the counsel to Prophet Erue, he told the court that he would rely on and adopt Erue’s argument and urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit.
The counsel to Ogodo, the plaintiff, barrister O.J. Oghenejakpor, leading two other lawyers, and responding to the address of the defendant’s counsel’s told the court that in respect of the motions of the first and second defendants, that they filed a counter affidavit dated 13e/3/2019 and filed same day accompanied with a written address. He urged the court to make use of the affidavit in response to the motion where the defendant claimed that no leave was obtained.
Pointing out that that was the basis of their objection, Oghenejakpor argued that the new issues of statements not being marked cannot form the basis at this stage. He urged the court to dismiss the motion of the first and second defendant because the rule relied upon is an old rule that no longer applies.
On the third defendant’s motion on preliminary objection, Ogodo’d counsel called the attention of the court to the fact that on 17/10/2018 the court ruled that the motion was not ripe to be moved. And that since the issue was predicated on the issue of law, he urged the court to note that pleadings were exchanged and evidence were led. The Ogodo counsel argued that since the issue has been taken care of in the written address, he submitted that the motion has been subsumed under the main case and that the court will deal with them at the judgment level.
He urging the court to enter judgment in favour of his client, (Chief Cyril Ogodo), Barrister Oghenejakpor called attention to Exhibits O and W, which contains the list of delegates arguing that Exhibit O is a document that was manufactures. “The different pages of Exhibit O showed the dufferent characters. Counsel then prayed the court specially for a heavy punitive cost to be awarded against the defendants.
Justice Adegoke the adjourned till Monday, March 18, 2019 for judgmen.t