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A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed Nov. 8 for hearing a suit challenging the emergence of Kola Abiola as the presidential candidate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP).
The Judge fixed the date on Tuesday after a consensus agreement by counsel for the parties in the suit.
According to reports, Madam Patience Ndidi Key, a female presidential aspirant in the June 5 primaries conducted by the party, had urged the court to nullify the poll that produced Kola Abiola as the PRP’s presidential candidate.
Key, in an originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1001/2022, also prayed for an order setting aside the declaration of Kola Abiola as the winner of the primaries conducted across the country.
Mr Kola is the son of the late MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.
The plaintiff (Key) had sued PRP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Mr Latifu Kolawole Abiola as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.
Upon mentioning the matter, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Chief Magnus Ihejirika, informed that the matter was scheduled for further mention.
He said he had just been briefed by the plaintiff to take over the matter from the former counsel.
“Consequently, we have filed our notice of change of counsel as required,” he said
Ihejirika, however, told the court that the 2nd and 3rd defendants (INEC and Abiola) were yet to file any response.
He said he was just being informed by Kola Abiola’s counsel that he was served with court processes last Friday.
He, therefore, applied for an adjournment to enable parties to put their house in order.
“Subject to the convenience of the court, we have agreed on Nov. 7,” he said.
The lawyer to the PRP, Regina Audu, complained that she was yet to be served with the notice of change of counsel by the plaintiff.
“But since it is a pre-election matter and time is of the essence, we will not be challenging this since a copy is already in the court file,” she said.
Ijeoma Madu, who appeared for Kola Abiola, told the court that her client had not been properly served with the originating process.
She said they only got the court order for substituted service of court processes which was pasted on the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.
The judge said that based on the affidavit deposed to, by the court bailiff, all the court documents, including the originating summons, were pasted in accordance with the order.
He said the onus was on the 3rd defendant (Kola Abiola) to go and check the court file for confirmation.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, however, raised observation over the incessant change of counsel by the plaintiff in the suit, bearing in mind that a pre-election matter has a 180-day life span.
He subsequently fixed Nov. 8 for a hearing of the matter and ordered that INEC (2nd defendant) be issued with a hearing notice.
Court fixes Nov. 8 for suit challenging Kola Abiola’s presidential candidacy