A Benue State High Court has restrained the Peoples Democratic Party from either expelling or disqualifying Governor Samuel Ortom from contesting in the forthcoming senatorial race.
Ortom seeks to contest to represent Benue North-West Senatorial District in the Senate.
The restraining order made on Thursday by Justice A.I. Itoyonyiman was also directed at the Independent National Electoral Commission, which was joined as second respondent in Ortom’s ex parte application marked MHC/46/2023.
The judge restrained the PDP and its agents “from expelling, suspending or levying any other punishment on the plaintiff/applicant pending the determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.”
He also restrained INEC “from receiving and/or acting upon any communication made by the 1st defendant/respondent seeking to disqualify from contesting or seeking not to be placed on the ballot paper the name of the plaintiff/applicant as the 1st defendant’s candidate for the Benue North-West Senatorial District in the 2023 general elections.”
Ortom has a running battle with his party for refusing to back the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
He is one of the G-5 governors having problems with Atiku, the others being Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of Enugu State, and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
The court said the interim order would subsist pending the determination of a suit filed against the party by Ortom.
The matter was adjourned till February 24 for the hearing of the substantive suit.