By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Hope to use ad hoc delegates in the upcoming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries in the Akwa Ibom State has been dashed as Court has put their power to vote on hold.
An Abuja Federal High Court in the case of Friday Iwok and 30 others Vs PDP and INEC decided on Wednesday May 18, 2022, ordered that the status quo should remain, pending the determination of the main suit.
When the case, Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/606/2022- RT. HON. FRIDAY IWOK &ORS V. INEC & Anor came up, the Court granted the injunction against the usage of the April 30, 2022 Ad-hoc delegates list for the PDP Congresses in Akwa Ibom State.
While adjourning the case to Wednesday, May 25, 2022 for hearing, the Court directed that the Status Quo be maintained.
According to a legal luminary,Bassey Akadu Esq. legal definition of the term status quo in the matter means “the last actual and uncontested state of affairs that preceded a controversy and that is to be preserved by preliminary injunction”.
“What today’s Court order simply means is that, parties are to return to the state of affairs before the issues that gave rise to the dispute. In this circumstance, it is the state of affairs before the controversial ad hoc delegates election.
“It is inconceivable that the court would order that the Ad hoc list produced by the disputed Ad hoc delegates election be used in the coming primaries when the dispute over the legality and authenticity of that delegates list is still before it.
Another legal luminary, Jerry Akpan Esq., said the implication of the Court decision is that “Ad hoc delegates issue in the upcoming PDP primaries has been buried”.
He explained that with the latest Court pronouncement, the Ad-hoc delegates will not vote in the House of Assembly primary on May 21, 2022, House of Representatives primary on May 22, 2022, Senatorial primary on May 23 as well as the May 25, 2022 governorship primary.
Akpan said by the time the substantive suit would have been done with, it would be too late to talk about ad hoc delegate issue, meaning it would have been overtaken by circumstance.
It would be recalled that delegates Congress was held in the state to elect three Ad-hoc delegates for each of the 329 political wards and one national delegate from each local government area, but both exercises were marred by widespread irregularities with many people from the party disenfranchised and electoral materials hijacked from designated polling units to private homes by some persons in authority.