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Okorocha’s Certificate Of Return: Court Decides PDP’s Fate Today     

Court to make decision today on PDP’s suit.

Funsho Akinwale

The Federal High Court Abuja will today deliver judgment on the Peoples Democratic Party’s application seeking to be joined as parties in a suit filed by Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha, over his Certificate of Return.

The Judge in charge, Justice Okon, had fixed the date on Wednesday over arguments from counsel on why the party should or should not be joined as an interested party in the suit.

Counsel to PDP, Stanley Imo, in his argument, said because the second defendant in the suit, Jones Onyereri, was a candidate of PDP in the election under contention, was not enough reason to shut his party out of the proceedings.

“We beg to disagree with this line of argument because this court, differently constituted, joined the defendant (All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA), as an interested party even when the third defendant (Osita Izunaso) was a candidate of the seventh defendant,” he said.

“It is not in doubt that a political party that sponsored a candidate is an interested party in an action of this nature.

“The Electoral Act says the two people who can challenge the outcome of an election are the political party that sponsored a candidate or the candidate himself.”

Imo told the court to discountenance the objection of Okorocha and allow his client to be joined as a party, adding that the interest to be considered should be that of the party and not of the counsel.

Counsel to Okorocha, Mr. Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), objected to PDP being joined as a party on the ground that the application was brought in bad faith.

“The application was brought for the purpose of truncating, delaying and frustrating the prompt hearing of this matter.

“Mr. Imo is someone I have great respect for but the court will find that from records, when the matter came up on April 5, he appeared for the second defendant,” Taiwo said.

Having listened to the prayers of the two lawyers, Justice Abang gave the assurance that the parties would be given free hearing and he adjourned till today to rule whether PDP will join as a party in the suit or not.

Also read: Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal Sitting Begins Today