Appeal Court in Benin, has affirmed the Prophet Jones Erue-led State Working Committee as the duly elected State Executives of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Delta State.
This followed an appeal filed by the Erue executive against the judgment of the Asaba Federal High Court which declared Cyril Ogodo-led faction as the legally elected executives of the party.
In a unanimous judgment yesterday read by Justice Mohammed Shaibu, the Court held that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit since it bordered on intra-party matter.
The Court also held that respondents’ non-compliance with section 97 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act breached was a fundamental breach of the law, and that statutory provision of writ of summons was not complied with, as the writ was not endorsed.
It also held that failure of the respondents to file their suit within 14 days of the act complained of (pre-election) extinguished their rights and therefore lack locus standi to contest the primary they did not participate in.
According to the Court, the respondents were neither aspirants nor contestants and therefore lack locus standi to challenge the action of the APC.
“The appeal is allowed. The judgment of the lower court is hereby struck out for lack of jurisdiction, the court held and awarded N100,000 costs against the respondents.
In another judgment on the same subject matter, the court held that election matters are time-bound and must be strictly adhered to, adding that the lower court was wrong to have assumed jurisdiction in the suit.