INEC Disagrees With Dagogo As Rivers Governorship Aspirant Accuses Wike Of Blocking His Screening

The Independent National Electoral Commission has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to refuse an application filed by governorship aspirant, Hon. Farah Dagogo, which sought an interim injunction to restrain the People’s Democratic party from going ahead with its primaries in Rivers state.

On Tuesday, Dagogo, through his counsel, D. Lanre SAN, contended before Justice Taiwo Taiwo that the “the PDP in connivance with Governor Nyesom Wike took my client away from the screening.”

As such, he sought an interim injunction against the party as well as praying the court to determine whether it was in or against the interest of justice for him to have complied with all instructions by the party’s screening committee and yet was denied access.

The court, rather than grant the injunction when it was first heard, had ordered the PDP and INEC to appear today (Tuesday) and explain why the prayers of the applicant should or should not be granted.

During the court sitting, PDP’s counsel, Nze Nzemanze SAN,
filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.

He also pointed out to the judge that the primary election of the party is very close and that Dagogo’s application is targeted at jeopardizing PDP’s chances to have a valid candidate for the gubernatorial election.

“If the election is not held on May 26, PDP will have no candidate in the state election,” Nzemanze told the judge.

But Lanre insisted that the Electoral Act 2022 gives the court jurisdiction over his case.

INEC’s lawyer, O.A. Adeyemi, urged Justice Taiwo to refuse the application for interim injunction by the applicant, and “also decline jurisdiction.”

“In view of submissions by learned counsels, ruling is adjourned to May 25,” Justice Taiwo held.

Recall that Wike had declared Dagogo wanted for allegedly hiring cultists to attack PDP secretariat in the state.

He had also ordered his arrest by the police; that order was effected and Dagogo was later arraigned before a court in the state.

His arrest was strongly condemned by the Socio – Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP).

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