The Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, capital of Imo State, has dismissed a case brought before it by a former governorship aspirant in the 2019 elections in Bayelsa State, Chief Timi Alaibe, for lacking in merit.
In a two-hour judgment of case No FHC/OW/CS/30/20 delivered on Tuesday, Justice T.G. Ringim struck out most of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff (Alaibe) for failing to prove that the first defendant, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), wrongly nominated the second defendant (Governor Douye Diri) as the validly elected candidate of the party.
Justice Ringim noted that the plaintiff’s application was not status barred because he met the time frame from the primary to the period he challenged the matter, saying: “Every primary election matter should be filed not later than 14 days period after the primary.”
He, however, stated that the case was an internal affair of the party.
Justice Ringim also ruled that the plaintiff was incompetent to urge the first defendant to conduct a fresh primary having conducted the party’s primary on September 3, 2019.
Meanwhile, youth members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, besieged Wadata Plaza, Abuja, national secretariat of the party, seeking among others, the expulsion of Timi Alaibe from the party.
The youths under the auspices of PDP National Youth Rebirth Forum, in their numbers, displayed placards in solidarity with Governor Duoye Diri, and called on the leadership of the party to save Bayelsa from Alaibe, describing him as an agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Alaibe, a former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is currently in court seeking the disqualification of Duoye on grounds that the primary election that produced him breached the provisions of the party’s constitution.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, National President of the forum, Bonire Solomon, said the case instituted by Alaibe could threaten the ongoing peace in the state chapter of PDP, if not well handled.
He said: “The ongoing court case if not quickly handled and decisively too, has strong potential to derail the party in Bayelsa or, God forbid, can make the party lose out entirely if not settled immediately.
“We have received a very credible report that Timi Alaibe, who cannot in any way benefit from the current court case, is all out to do the bidding of some external forces in order to underline and destroy the control of Bayelsa by PDP.”
The group urged the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee (NWC) to take a cue from “what recently happened in Kogi, where a party aspirant took the gubernatorial candidate to court and invalidated the candidacy of the party and render our efforts at the Kogi electoral tribunal useless, except the appeal court upturns the judgment of the High Court.”
Although the group noted that the former NDDC boss may have had a solid ground to feel aggrieved, it faulted the haste with which he went to court to seek redress.
Solomon continued: “We have found out that Alaibe did not exhaust the internal redress mechanism of the party as required by the constitution before proceeding to court against our party and her candidate, an action the law requires punitive measures for.”
The forum, therefore, demanded the immediate expulsion of Alaibe in compliance with Section 57 (3) of the PDP constitution.
However, while reacting to the protest, Alaibe said the Judiciary should be allowed to decide the case without interference.
“The court should be allowed to do its job,” he said.