From Pwanabeshi Agabus, Jos
A Federal High Court, sitting in Jos, has granted an order via a motion ex-parte to be served on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to appear in court, in pursuant to a suit brought before it, which makes a pre-election claim that the ex-governor of Plateau State and now serving Senator, Joshua Dariye, was not a bonafide member of the PDP at the time of the party’s primaries on December 7, 2014.
It would be recalled that Dariye who at the time was a Labour Party senator made efforts to decamp to the PDP, but his efforts were frustrated by the Plateau PDP state exco.
He then attempted to use the national body’s influence to veto the state -but this proved abortive, because the then Governor of the state, Jonah Jang directed that all decampees follow a process of re-registering from their wards, to their local government and then subsequently to the state.
Jang famously stated that “no one joins the party from Abuja, you have to
follow the due process of joining from the wards”.
Dariye working with other prominent politicians of the state was however, later given a waiver by the PDP National Secretariat and the state chapter forced to accept him.
The court has fixed July 9, 2015, for Senator Dariye, alongside the PDP and INEC (the co-defendants) to appear and explain if Dariye, was indeed a bonafide member of the PDP at the time of the party’s National Assembly primaries held in December last year.
In motion number FHC/J/M/106/2 brought in consonance with order 6, Rules 17 (1) of the Federal High Court Civil Procedures Rules 2009, the Plaintiff, Alexander Molwus, who contested the primaries against Dariye, is contending that, Senator Dariye, was a serving Senator representing Plateau Central Zone on the Platform of the Labour Party and at the same time, a PDP aspirant who participated in the party’s National Assembly primaries.
Molwus, who lost the primaries to Dariye on December 7, 2014, alongside Emmanuel Goar and Satty Godwin who also contested, further contends
that on the basis of the electoral guidelines of primaries for the first defendant (PDP), it says only a registered member of the party whose name is on the list is qualified to contest.
In unambiguous terms, the plaintiff, avers further that the second respondent, Senator Dariye, having not resigned his membership of the Labour Party, was not a member of PDP as his name was not on the party’s register, and as such, did not qualify to contest the primary elections.