By Sampson Boroh
A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, has fixed October 7th for the hearing of the suit challenging the emergence of Senator Douye Diri as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 16 gubernatorial election in the state.
The suit was filed by a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, one of the aspirants who contested the PDP governorship primaries where Senator Diri emerged as flag bearer of the party.
Justice Jane Iyang of the Federal High Court on Wednesday issued an order for substituted service on the respondents following complaint by the counsel to the PDP that they had not been properly served.
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Alaibe’s petition alleged that the PDP primaries where Diri emerged as candidate was flawed by irregularities and failure to comply with the electoral act, the party’s constitution and laid down guidelines for primaries.
The petitioner, who came as first runner-up in the primaries, claimed in the suit marked FHC/YNG/CS/99/2019, has as defendants; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Embeleakpo Alale for himself and representing the elected LGA chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors of the PDP.
Counsel to the respondents, Nemoye Maxwell-Brown told journalists that his appearance at the court was to hear the application of the applicant for substituted service, adding “Although we know there was no attempt to serve us. The application was heard and granted.”
Speaking in similarly vein, the counsel to the applicant, Somina Johnbull, their appearance in court was to seek the court ruling on means of properly serving some of the respondents.
“It has not been easy and possible to serve some of the respondents. The decision is a demonstration of our confidence in the judiciary process. That is where we have presented our complaint before the court.
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“The court will decide on the basis of our facts and evidences in arriving at a full determination of the case”, Johnbull added.
Among the prayers of the claimant is the cancellation of the result of the September 4th Governorship primaries in state based on cited procedural flaws.
He also asking the court to examine the entire processes that resulted in the primaries and rule in his favour in the light of violations committed in a desperate move to impose a pre-determined candidate as the flag bearer of the party.