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Edo Governorship Primary Election: Lawyers Urge Aggrieved Members To Embrace Parties’ Crisis Resolution Mechanism

SOME legal practitioners in Edo have called on aggrieved political party members during the state’s February primary elections to embrace all internal party crisis resolution mechanisms.

The legal practitioners spoke to News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews on Friday in Benin following the violence and political grandstanding that trailed the primaries of the different parties ahead of the September Edo governorship polls.


Mr Pius Oiwoh, former Nigerian Bar Association Chairman, Benin branch, said party members should read the constitution of the party and the Electoral Act, adding that the court was not an option.

” The aggrieved party members must embrace peace and unite.

He said recent misconduct of some loyalists after their primaries was worrisome and called for serious concern.

“The parties refused to embrace the internal democracy; no respect for constitution and the Electoral Act.

“More than one or two from same party came out that they are successful as the flag bearer of same party; this is unacceptable.

“The headquarters, which is the parent body, should be neutral and call the party faithful to order and reconcile them.

“Put the house together and address issues as a family as internal democracy.”

He added that party members must respect the constitution of the party and the Electoral Act.

On his part, Mr. Tim Ngbejumen said aggrieved party members must exhaust all internal party mechanisms before approaching the courts.

Ngbejumen said the law was explicit about how party primaries should be conducted, stating that it was not an issue for the courts to look into.

The legal practitioner said, however, before such primaries were conducted, they must strictly follow the internal laid down rules contained in its constitution.

According to him, anything outside the party’s constitution regarding the primary can’t be justifiable.

He said the courts had plethora of cases to attend to and might not have power to go into what political parties do internally.

He noted that if political parties didn’t right the wrongs before the cases got to the court, they might not have candidates in the elections.

He advised that aggrieved party members must first exhaust all internal party conflict resolution avenues and appeals, before approaching the courts.

He said party members didn’t have the legal right to seek for redress before exhausting internal party mechanisms, as the law specifically mandated such international processes to be followed to avoid abuse of court processes,

“Those who do it wrong would not get it right at the courts as their cases would be thrown out.”

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