- The presidential candidate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Kola Abiola, has been fined by a Federal High Court in Abuja
- Abiola, the son of the late MKO Abiola, was fined by the court following his failure to his court documents within time
- Madam Patience Ndidi Key, a PRP presidential aspirant, is challenging Abiola's emergence as the party's presidential candidate
FCT, Abuja - A Federal High Court in Abuja has awarded a fine against Kola Abiola, the presidential candidate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), over failure to file his court documents within time.
Daily Trust reported that Justice Fadima Aminu, in a ruling, also fined the PRP over its delay in filing its counter affidavit in opposition to the aggrieved presidential aspirant’s amended originating summons.
Legit.ng gathers that the judge had fixed November 25 for a definite hearing in a suit filed by Madam Patience Ndidi Key, a female presidential aspirant in the June 5 primary election conducted by the party.
The judge, who granted the application filed by Madam Key to amend her originating summons on November 18, ordered all parties to file their processes before the next adjourned date and adjourned to Friday, November 25, for a definite hearing.
PAY ATTENTION: Subscribe to Digital Talk newsletter to receive must-know business stories and succeed BIG!
The plaintiff, Key, had, on June 28, sued PRP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Latifu Abiola as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, respectively.
How Madam Key challenged Kola Abiola's victory
Key, in her earlier originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1001/2022, had challenged the emergence of Abiola as the party’s presidential candidate.
She prayed the court to nullify the poll that produced Abiola as the PRP’s presidential candidate.
She also prayed for an order setting aside the declaration of Abiola as the winner of the primaries conducted across the country.
Upon resumed hearing in the matter, the plaintiff‘s counsel, Magnus Ihejirika, informed that the matter was adjourned for a definite hearing.
Ihejirika, however, said that the defence lawyers were yet to serve on him their counter-affidavits to enable him to respond appropriately.
Lawyer to the PRP, Regina Audu, explained that there was a network failure on Thursday at the FHC filing office when she tried to file her application.
According to her, there was no network to generate a remittal for us to pay the filing fee yesterday (Thursday) for our counter affidavit.
The lawyer, who said she could only do that on Friday, prayed to the court for an adjournment.
But Ihejirlrika described the defence counsel’s act as “a deliberate attempt to stall proceedings in the suit.”
The lawyer, who said that the case was filed on June 28, said, “time is of the essence in its determination.”
He said by provision of the constitution, the court had only 180 days to dispose of the matter, saying practically now, the court has less than a month to have the case determined.
He argued that the defendants were only employing a delay tactic to stall the hearing and determination of the suit.
Ihejirika, who told the court that he comes to the court from Kebbi, said if the court would be inclined to grant the defence application, a cost should be imposed.
He asked for a cost of N200,000.
The defence counsel, who disagreed with him, prayed the court to dismiss the request.
Justice Aminu gives verdict
In her ruling, Justice Aminu said an award of cost should not be a punishment but compensation.
The judge, consequently, ordered the PRP and Abiola to pay the sum of N20,000 each to the plaintiff’s counsel.
She adjourned the matter until Friday, December 2, for a definite hearing.
Kola, the PRP presidential candidate, is the son of the late MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.
PRP debunks rumour of Kola Abiola withdrawing from presidential race
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier debunked the rumour that its presidential candidate, Kola Abiola, had withdrawn.
In a statement released on Monday, October 10, on behalf of the Publicity Directorate, Muhammed Ishaq described the rumour as an unfounded falsehood.
The PRP said Abiola and his running mate, Haro Zego, were still very much in the race and advised party members and the public to ignore the rumours.