A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered substituted service of a suit seeking the disqualification of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming election in Edo State, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and his running mate, Audu Ganiyu.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave the order on Tuesday after granting the plaintiffs’ application for substituted service on the defendants in the case – Ize-Iyamu and Ganiyu.
Giving his ruling, the judge ordered that the defendants be served with the suit by pasting the court documents and the hearing notice for next sitting at their residences in Benin, the Edo State capital.
He, thereafter, fixed August 24 for the hearing of the suit.
The plaintiffs in the suit, who are also APC members, Momoh Abdul-Razak and Zibiri Muhizu, had asked the court to disqualify their party’s candidates in the poll scheduled to hold on September 19, 2020.
They filed the suit on the ground that Ganiyu gave false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to aid his qualification for the governorship election.
In the suit filed on July 10, 2020, through their lawyer, Friday Nwosu, the plaintiffs also alleged irregularities in Ganiyu’s name and academic credentials.
The APC and INEC were listed as the first and second defendants respectively in the suit while Ganiyu and Ize-Iyamu were the third and fourth respondents.
Ize-Iyamu, who was defeated by incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki in the 2016 governorship election, ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a bid to achieve his ambition of becoming the governor of Edo State, he defected to the APC in 2019 amid the crisis in the state chapter of the party.
He was later cleared to contest for the APC primary where he won the party’s ticket, but Governor Obaseki was disqualified by the screening committee.
The governor, who is seeking re-election, later defected to the PDP where he emerged as the party’s flagbearer in the election.
Ize-Iyamu, on his part, recently got the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to represent the APC in the poll.