Perhaps, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, may have to go back to Nigeria’s school of governance to learn the practical rudiments of Nigerian Politics 101 – which teaches you that ‘the political enemy of your friend, is not necessarily your friend’.
Yesterday, a court sitting in Port Harcourt granted an injunction stopping the governor from participating in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) primaries, slated for Thursday, to pick its governorship candidate.
It was another Port Harcourt-based court that granted the order stopping the political foes of Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, led by his predecessor, the Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, from laying claims to the acting national chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress (APC) – a move that assisted Adams Oshiomhole, the embattled National Chairman of the ruling APC, and frustrated Amaechi in his bid to take control of the national structure of the party, ahead of the 2023 presidential election, which he is said to be interested in.
Amaechi’s protege, Chief Victor Giadom, was stopped by the Port Harcourt court from parading himself as the APC’s acting national chairman, in an extension of the supremacy battle between Wike and Amaechi, that has now spilled over to Edo State where Obaseki was counting on the same Wike – a sworn political foe of his key supporter, Amaechi, – to assist him secure the PDP ticket.
And then, there is the suspicion by the PDP apparatchik that Obaseki’s deal with APC governors is to return to the party after he wins the Edo governorship election on PDP’s platform.
As the intrigues continue, the Port Harcourt court, ruling on a suit filed by the leading PDP governorship aspirant in Edo State, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama -an ally of Wike -restrained Obaseki from participating in the PDP’s primary pending the determination of the suit.
The ruling of the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, came the same day another aspirant, Mr. Gideon Ikhine, stepped down for Obaseki.
Obaseki, who just defected to the party from the APC, was screened last week by the PDP Screening Committee.
He had earlier been granted waiver by the party after his defection from the APC.
The suit has the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, as the first defendant.
Other defendants are Emmanuel Ogidi, Kingsley Chinda, Debekeme, James Manager, Ajibola Muraina, the PDP, Obaseki and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as second to ninth defendants respectively.
Ogbeide-Ihama, through his lawyers, Mr. Donald Denwigwe (SAN) and Chief F. Orbih, SAN, and leader of PDP in Edo State, had asked the court to stop Obaseki because his defection to the party, a few days to the primary, was unreasonable and aimed at destabilising other aspirants.
The court, presided over by Justice E. A. Obile, after listening to the submission of Denwigwe and Orbih, ordered the defendants not to allow Obaseki or any member or non-member of the party other than those that have purchased forms and were screened within the time stated in the timetable to contest for Thursday’s primary.
The judge also ordered that order and other processes be served on Secondus, Ogidi and Chinda by substituted means at their residences in Port Harcourt.
The order and other processes are also to be served on the PDP at its national headquarters in Abuja and Obaseki at the Government House in Benin-City.
The court adjourned till tomorrow (Wednesday) June 24, on the eve of the primary election to hear the motion on notice.
Recall that PDP had announced a waiver for Obaseki, to enable him to participate in the primary election, even though he joined the party only on Friday 19 June last week.
The party also reconvened the Chinda screening committee which had ended its assignment on 5 June
The committee specially screened Obaseki on Saturday 20 June. Thisday