by crossriverwatch admin
The High Court of Cross River State of Nigeria, Calabar Division presided over by Honourable Justice Ofem Ikpi Ofem this afternoon delivered its ruling in the two notices of Preliminary Objection by CROSIEC challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to hear and determine the suits ( HC/303/2013 and HC/305/2013 respectively) filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC seeking for nullification of the decision of CROSIEC to disqualify APC from participating in the Local Government elections scheduled for tomorrow 21/9/2013 in the State.
In its ruling, the Court dismissed as unmeritorious the four grounds of objection enumerated in the notice of preliminary objection filed by CROSIEC and argued by its Counsel, Attah Ochinke, Attorney General of Cross River State.
CROSIEC had earlier in a notice of preliminary objection argued that the All Progressives Congress and its acronym APC is not a registered political party in Nigeria; that the suit is an abuse of Court process; that originating processes were not filled and that no joinder was served on necessarily parties.
But the Court amongst others held that contrary to the position of CROSIEC that APC is not registered, APC was duly registered by INEC on 31/7/2013.
The Court said it has taken judicial notice that APC is a registered political party in Nigeria.
The Court also held that the suit was properly constituted and it has jurisdiction to hear and grant the reliefs sought by the Claimant.
The Court then dismissed all the grounds of the objection in the notice of preliminary objection.
The Court was not forthcoming on the interlocutory injunction sought by the APC to stop tomorrow’s election.
When counsel to APC, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla at the end of ruling reminded the Court of the Motion for Interlocutory Injunction seeking for an order restraining CROSIEC from conducting the elections tomorrow, 21/9/2013 pending the hearing of the case filed by APC which was yet to be determined and that because of time the Court should issue an interim order and further applied that the Court should extract a commitment from the Attorney General, Mr. Attah Ochinke as the custodian of law and order and defender of public interest in Cross River State to advice CROSIEC to maintain the status quo and suspend the elections.
The Judge said that since today was his last day as vacation Judge he was ordering a transfer of the case file to the Chief Judge of the State to assign to another Judge. The Judge then advised parties to be law abiding.
But CROSIEC in a statement this evening debunked rumours making the rounds that the scheduled election will not hold tomorrow.
The state electoral body which said they have commenced the distribution of electoral material across the state, advised Cross Riverians to come out in their numbers to vote tomorrow as the elections will go on as scheduled because ‘the Court did not grant any injunction to stop the election.”
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