PDP governorship aspirant drags party to court

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A Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Cross River State, Dr. Paul Udayi, has dragged the party to the state High Court over his exclusion from the screening organized by the party.

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Udayi was the first aspirant to pick up the expression of interest and nomination form to contest the governorship election in Cross River State from the PDP national secretariat in Abuja.

In suit No: HC/408/2018, which was filed on September 26, 2018, by his counsels, Chris Onugba and Bassey Okon, Udayi claimed that it was wrong for the party not to screen and clear him to contest the forthcoming governorship primaries.

He averred that no reason was given by the party’s screening committee for the action.

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The defendants in the suit are PDP, the National Chairman of PDP, the Cross River State chairman of PDP, the Chairman of the Gubernatorial Screening Committee for the South-South geo-political zone, and members of the Gubernatorial Screening Committee for the South-South geopolitical zone.

In the notice to hear an originating summons pursuant to Order 7 Rule 8 (1) of the High Court of Cross River State Civil Procedure Rules, Udayi claimed that any governorship primary done without including him amounts to injustice and it is a nullity.

“A declaration that the first defendant’s refusal to clear the claimant to contest her forthcoming governorship primary election in Cross River State being a decision taken without stating the grounds and reasons for the claimant’s alleged disqualification is arbitrary decision grossly invalid and in violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

“An order of injunction restraining the defendants, whether by themselves, their servants, agents, privies, employees and assigns, from conducting the governorship primary election in Cross River State in exclusion of the claimant.”

When contacted, the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Egbung Odama, said he was not aware of the suit.