A Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta on Thursday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to maintain status quo on its recognition of Senator Buruji-Kashamu as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the coming elections in the state.
The court also joined Kashamu in a suit filed by Sikirullahi Ogundele-led faction of the party, seeking an order of mandamus to compel INEC to recognize Oladipopu Adebutu as the official governorship candidate against Kashamu’s name as contained in the electoral body’s final list.
At the hearing of the suit on Thursday, Counsel to Kashamu, Raphael Ajibola Oluyede told the court after his client had been joined in the suit that the plaintiffs plan to hold a rally on Saturday where they will be paraded and flags given to them, noting that the development could lead to the breakdown of law and order if the court fails to intervene.
Oluyede informed the court that the Police have already summoned an emergency security meeting based on the tension being generated by the matter.
He prayed the court to direct the Police not to grant any permission for a rally where flags will be presented to Adebutu and others.
But, counsel to the Plaintiffs, Afolabi Fashanu (SAN) objected to the prayers, describing it as speculative.
In his ruling, Justice Abubakar Shittu directed the parties in the matter to maintain status quo to avoid possible break down of law and order.
The court adjourned till 14th February, 2019, for hearing of the substantive suit and all pending applications before it.
Reacting to the ruling, Counsel to INEC, Akindele Damiloju told journalists that “the electoral body, as a law-abiding institution, will maintain the status quo as directed by the court.”
Also speaking, one of the lawyers in the Plaintiffs’ legal team, Muyiwa Obalewa said “As far as we are concerned we are going to obey the order and also there is no breakdown of law in the first instance, they are just crying over what does not exist.”