The Federal High court in Benin City, has refused the exparte order sought by the former Vice-chairman of the APC, Edo State Chapter, Mr Kenneth Asekhome on the relocation of the State Secretariat of the party, in Suit No. B/CS/57/2020.
The secretariat, originally located on Number 49, Airport Road, Oka, Benin was relocated to No. 18 Ighiwiyisi Street, off Airport Road, Benin City by the state chapter under the leadership of Colonel David Imuse (Rtd).
The relocation was approved by the APC National Working Committee in compliance with the party constitution and a notification letter was issued and sent to INEC, the Police and other relevant stakeholders on the change.
However, remnants of the failed Obaseki take-over attempt, many of whom have already been expelled by the APC but unwilling to defect to the PDP where they will be condemned to irrelevance, challenged the secretariat switch in court, seeking an ex-parte order to halt the change.
The court presided over by Hon. Justice A.A . Demi -Ajayi refused their appeal and asked parties in the suit to maintain status quo.
He adjourned hearing till Monday June 25, 2020 when the APC, Edo State Police Commissioner and INEC will show cause why the order should not be granted.
Obaseki’s choice of ex-parte orders has been criticized to be informed by intent to abuse the judicial process. An activist group accused the governor of using the court to forcefully obtain temporary political reprieve through “restraining orders” and other intervening injunctions issued without proper trials or examination of the facts.
By rejecting the application for an ex-parte order and fixing the date for a proper hearing, the Federal High Court may have set the stage for a spectacular defeat of the political allies of Obaseki who are widely believed to be ignorant of the APC constitution and acting without guidance.