Court reserves judgement in suit against PRP’s Kola Abiola 

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The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has reserved judgement in a suit filed by an aspirant, Patience Key, against Kola Abiola, the presidential candidate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP)

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a short ruling after counsel for the parties, adopted their processes for and against the suit, said the judgement date would be communicated to the parties.

Upon resumed hearing in the matter, Mr Mohammed indicated his intention to accelerate the hearing in the suit on the ground that he had a handful of pre-election cases in his docket.

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The judge, who said the suit was filed on June 28, said the court had only 19 days to decide the matter.

He, therefore, directed lawyers to the parties to list the processes filed in the course of the case and adopt them.

Justice Fadima Aminu had, on November 25, fixed December 2 for a definite hearing in the suit filed by the PRP’s female presidential aspirant.

But on the adjourned date, the judge could not continue, and the case was reverted to Mr Mohammed and fixed for today.

Ms Key had, on June 28, sued PRP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Mr Abiola as first, second and third defendants, respectively.

Ms Key, in her earlier originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1001/2022, had challenged the emergence of Mr Abiola as the party’s presidential candidate, among others.

But in an amended originating summons granted by the court dated August 31 and filed on September 2, the plaintiff sought a consequential order setting aside the submission of Mr Abiola’s name by PRP to INEC on June 15 as the flag bearer and presidential candidate for 2023 election on account of gross violations of the party’s guidelines for the conduct of primaries and the provisions of the Electoral Act.

Ms Key also prayed for an order directing the party to conduct a fresh presidential primary election nationwide, with her and Abiola participating, and for the same to be monitored by INEC.

She further prayed for an order directing the PRP to pay her N200 million as exemplary damages for causing her unnecessary hardship and wasting time and resources in campaigning, touring, and funding her presidential campaigns, which the party organised.

She said the party was in breach of Section 84 (5)(b){i) and (ii) ot the Electoral Act 2022, INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries, Article 5 (13(a)(i-ix) of the Constitution of the PRP’s Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the 2023 General Election,” among others.

However, in a consequential amendment of PRP’s counter affidavit dated and filed on November 5, the acting chairman of the party from January to April, Mohammed Nasiru, disowned Omowumi Braimoh, the deponent to the affidavit in support of Ms Key’s amended originating summons.

According to Mr Nasiru, the deponent is not a member of the first defendant (PRP) nor known to the first defendant.

He also denied, contrary to paragraphs 4a and 4b of the affidavit in support of the amended originating summons, that the party’s presidential primary election was not held across the 36 states of the federation but only at the Federal Capital Territory.

He argued that INEC was duly notified about the exercise, and it monitored election conduct.

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