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PRP presidential ticket: Court fines Kola Abiola

THE presidential candidate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Kola Abiola, has been fined N20,000 over failure to file his court documents within time in the ongoing battle for the party’s presidential ticket.

Patience Ndidi Key, a female presidential aspirant, had taken the PRP and Abiola to court over the June 5 primary election conducted by the party.

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According to the News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN) Key had, in a suit filed on June 38, sued PRP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Mr Latifu Abiola as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, respectively.

Key, in her originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1001/2022, 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, and also asked for an order setting aside the result declared from the primaries conducted across the country.

Justice Fadima Aminu had fixed Friday, November 25 for a definite hearing of the suit.

The Judge, who granted the application filed by Key to amend her originating summons on November 18, ordered all parties to file their processes before the next adjourned date.

At the resumption of hearing on Friday, the plaintiff’s counsel, Magnus Ihejirika, informed the court that the defense lawyers have yet to serve him their counter-affidavits to enable him to respond appropriately.

Lawyer to PRP Regina Audu explained that there was a network failure on Thursday, November 24, at the Federal High Court filing office when she tried to file her application.

Audu said there was no network to generate remitta for her to pay the filing fee.

The lawyer said she could only do that on Friday and prayed to the court for an adjournment.

Ijeoma Madu, Abiola’s lawyer, also made the same submission.

Ihejirika described the defence counsel’s act as “a deliberate attempt to stall proceedings in the suit”.

The lawyer said that the case was filed on June 28, noting that “time is of essence in its determination”.

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, therefore, asked for a cost of N200, 000.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Aminu said a cost award should not be a punishment but a compensation.

The judge, consequently, ordered the PRP (1st defendant) and Abiola (3rd defendant) to pay the sum of N20, 000 each to the plaintiff’s counsel.

Justice Aminu adjourned the matter until December 2 for a definite hearing.

Kola is the son of the late MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.