The legal tussle between factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State has been settled by the Court of Appeal sitting in Edo State.
This came as the court presided over by Justice C.N. Uwa on Friday affirmed Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and 43 others as the real candidates of the party.
Omo-Agege and the 43 others had emerged candidates of the APC at the primaries through the Jones Erue executive faction of the party in Delta State.
Earlier on March 18, candidates of the party from the Cyril Ogodo-led faction, had been declared as the authentic candidates of the party by the Asaba Federal High Court.
But the Erue faction had appealed the judgement, and ruling on the matter on Friday, the appellant court in a unanimous judgment read by Justice Mohammed Shaibu, held that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit as it bordered on intraparty matter.
The court further held that respondents’ non compliance with section 97 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act breached was a fundamental breach of the law, adding that statutory provision of service writ of summons was not complied with, as the writ was not endorsed.R
It went on to rule 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.
“In the instant case, 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.”
Holding that Erue’s exco remains authentic in the state, the court set aside the consequential order nullifying the candidacies of Senator Omo-Agege, Chief Great Ogboru, Rev. Francis Waive and 41 other APC candidates in the just concluded general elections in Delta State.