*Court Case, A Looming Danger For Imo PDP- Analyst*
Legal fireworks on the outcome of Imo PDP governorship primary has continued with Senator Samuel Anyanwu challenging the victory of Hon Emeka Ihedioha, winner of the primary in Court.
The legal action is coming on the heels some concerned party leaders and elders had appealed to the Senator to withdraw the matter from Court.
The appeal may not have been heeded by the Senator as the law courts proceeded with the matter raising tension and anxiety among concerned stakeholders and members of the PDP in Imo State ahead of the governorship election in February 2019.
The Senator made a fresh application seeking amendments to his earlier affidavit.
Senator Anyanwu had earlier submitted a fresh affidavit on Friday, October 19, 2018 where he sought court’s relief to grant the amendments he made on his earlier submission.
The Senator who represents Owerri zone in the Senate in his amendment wants the Court to declare him the rightful winner of the October 1, 2018 Imo PDP governorship primaries .He had earlier in his affidavit sought for the cancellation of the governorship primary.
The matter came up for fresh hearing on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 with Counsel to Emeka Ihedioha, Mr. L.C Njamanje arguing that the application was not ripe for hearing as it would amount to a breach of fundamental right of fair hearing.
He cited Order 26 Rule 5 of the Court, submitting that before a matter of such colouration could come for hearing, it ought to take seven days from the date of filing the affidavit to enable the respondents have sufficient time to respond to the affidavit.
The presiding judge,Justice Salihu Mohammed refused to grant Senator Anyanwu’s application for the matter be heard, submitting that his decision was in the interest of justice and fair hearing.
The matter was adjourned to October 30, 2018 for further hearing.
*The Dangers of Ongoing Legal Battle*
The insistence of Senator Anyanwu to proceed to the law court has raised fears among party stakeholders. It puts the PDP in Imo State on its toes before the governorship election.
The PDP in the State had enjoyed peace and harmony before the primaries and many had expected that it would remain as one family to confront the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC in the 2019 elections.
This newspaper had reported on Sunday that the ongoing legal matter anchored by Senator Anyanwu is a “ticking time bomb” which has the potential to upturn the apple-cart in the party.
An Owerri based political analyst, Mr. Chuks Onuoha had likened the ongoing court case instituted by Senator Anyanwu against Emeka Ihedioha to that of Rotimi Amaechi who had alleged that he (Amaechi) and not Celestine Omehia was the rightful winner of the 2006 PDP governorship primary in Rivers State.
The Supreme Court upheld his plea and sacked Omehia as Governor of Rivers State and pronounced Amaechi not just the rightful winner of the governorship primary but Governor of Rivers State.
Mr Onuoha said “The 2006 political scenario in Rivers State which produced Rotimi Amaechi as Governor of Rivers State has the same colouration with ongoing political development in Imo PDP
“Amaechi became Governor of Rivers State after the Supreme Court ruled that he was the rightful candidate of the PDP.
“Amaechi was recognized by the court as the winner of the primary and the party at that time wrongly gave the ticket to Omehia.
“Senator Anyanwu is towing a similar line and that may have informed his decision to change his plea to the courts. He is no longer alleging over voting but asking the court to declare him winner of the primary based on fresh submissions.
“This matter is indeed a ticking time bomb. And it is very dangerous. If the PDP eventually produce the next Governor, this matter will continue to rage on. I advise the PDP leadership in Imo State to continue to appeal to the Senator to drop the matter in the overall interest of peace and harmony and support Ihedioha” he said
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