Podar, in the case filed at the State High Court, Bukuru, sought the nullification of the state congress that brought the current state executive council into office, on the grounds that the said congress was not conducted according to APC’s stipulated guidelines.
Podar, from Fier Ward in Pankshin Local Government, claimed that he had signified interest in contesting for the state chairmanship seat, and paid the N100,000 fee for the nomination form.
According to him, after submitting the nomination form, he embarked on campaigns for the election, but was not allowed to contest for the seat.
“When we convened at the congress venue on May 19, 2018, it was announced that two persons were contesting for the post of state chairman, but that the incumbent, Mr Dabang Letep, would be returned opposed because his challenger (Podar), had been disqualified because his name is not in the APC register.
“Summarily, Letep was called upon to stand before the congress as the sole contestant.
“I repeatedly raised my hand to observe a point of order but was not given audience to be heard on the matter,’’ he claimed in the affidavit.
Angered by that injustice, Podar dragged the party to court seeking that the said election be cancelled, while any action taken by the executive council members should be nullified.
Defendants in the case included the APC and Letep, as first and second respondents, respectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that hearing on the case commenced last year with Podar represented by Mr Samuel Abba, while the respondents were represented by Mr Chindak Dakas.
NAN also reports that at the last hearing date in December 2019, Justice Ishaku Kunda adjourned the case to Feb. 7, 2019.
But Podar, in a motion on notice filed by his counsel, Abba, declared his intention to withdraw the case, and urged Justice Kunda to strike it out.
Ms Vivian Michael, litigation secretary in his law firm, in an affidavit in support of the motion on notice, said that Podar, after interactions with major stakeholders of the APC, had lost interest in further prosecution of the suit.
“Since the appellant has lost interest in the case, we want the court to strike it out; this is without any prejudice to the respondents,’’ she averred.
Speaking to NAN on why he took the action, Podar said that he acted “out of sheer respect for Mr President, the Plateau Governor and other stakeholders’’.
He dismissed allegations that he had been paid to withdraw the case.
“I have not received one naira from anyone. Let anyone, who has given me anything in respect of this matter, come out in public and say it.
“I chose to file the case in the interest of justice; I have also decided to withdraw it because of pressure from the presidency and other respected members of the party.
“I have decided to put the interest of the party above the personal injustice I suffered. It is a huge sacrifice, but I am prepared to make it as a loyal party man.
“Stakeholders have appealed to me. They have argued that the case could distract the party from focusing on the task of winning the forthcoming elections. I have thought about that and resolved to withdraw the case to allow for total concentration in the onerous task of winning the polls,’’ he said.