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Abuja Federal High Court Extends Interim Order Against INEC, PDP

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An interim order halting the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from taking any action against the 26 Rivers House of Assembly members who defected from PDP to APC has been extended by an Abuja Federal High Court beyond the initial December 15 deadline.

The extension was granted by Justice Donatus Okorowo on Thursday after an application by the lawmakers’ counsel, Steve Adehi, SAN, supported by Ken Njemanze, SAN, representing the Rivers House of Assembly.

Despite opposition from PDP’s counsel, Adeyemi Kamaldeen Ajibade, SAN, Justice Okorowo invoked his discretionary power under Order 26, Rule 10 of the Federal High Court, citing the interest of justice as the reason for the extension.

The judge stated that he was convinced by the arguments put forward by Adehi and Njemanze in support of the extension as being in the interest of justice.

The case has been adjourned until January 24, 2024, for the hearing of other applications on notice.

On December 15, Justice Okorowo had granted an ex-parte motion filed by the 26 lawmakers who had switched from PDP to APC, restraining INEC from conducting fresh elections to fill their seats and preventing INEC, PDP, and the House of Assembly from declaring their seats vacant or withdrawing their Certificate of Returns until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

In the motion ex-parte, the plaintiffs had sued INEC, PDP, the House of Assembly, Clerk of the Assembly, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, and the Department of State Service, DSS, as the 1st to 6th defendants, respectively.

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