Falana asks court to strike out PDP suit over lack of jurisdiction
Lagos-based lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has asked the Port Harcourt division of the Federal High Court to dismiss a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), among others over non-payment of filing fees.
The Plaintiff (PDP) in the suit prayed the court to declare that the 2nd, 3rd to 16th defendants are not entitled to participate in 2023 general elections in respect of the elective positions into membership of the Senate, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly for any of the constituencies in Rivers State or to nominate, sponsor or field any of the defendants as candidates in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, “having failed to hold valid primaries for the nomination of its candidates, as required by law and the guidelines of the INEC. `
However, Falana prayed the court to strike out or dismiss the suit for non-payment of filing fees and on the ground that the court lacks jurisdiction.
The defendant/applicants in the suit claimed that the plaintiff and some staff of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Division, fraudulently endorsed that the originating summons in the suit was filed on July 7, 2022, irrespective of the fact that no filing fee was paid for the filing.
It was further argued that the payment of the RRR was done outside the constitutionally prescribed 14 days provided for in Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution as amended for paying and filing Pre-election matters, adding that since no filing fees was paid on 7th of July 2022, the plaintiffs suit, which was filed on 7th of July 2022 is “incompetent and irredeemably dead”.
Sequel to the above, the plaintiff/applicant prayed the court to hold that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain and determine the Plaintiff’s suit.
The matter was adjourned until November 7, 2022, for mention.