Court nullifies Edo PDP governorship Primary

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, invalidated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election that produced Asue Ighodalo as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, held that the PDP’s primary, which held on 22 February, failed to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 – the guidelines for the conduct of the poll – and the party’s constitution.

Justice Ekwo, who said that the Exhibit PDP 1 tendered by the party was bereft of evidence, held that the plaintiffs, through the exhibits tendered, were able to establish their case against the defendants.

The judge said that from the exhibit presented by the PDP, he found that the returning officers who prepared the result sheets only sat down in a place to manufacture the outcome of the poll.

He said the exclusion of the 381 delegates, including the plaintiffs, were against the provisions of the law.

Justice Ekwo held that, although INEC, the 1st defendant, filed a memorandum of appearance in the suit, it was unfortunate that the commission did not file any process in the case.

According to the judge, the 1st defendant counsel only said it will be bound by the decision of the court.

“I found that the case of the plaintiffs succeed on merit,” he said.

The three aggrieved ad-hoc delegates, on behalf of the 378 others, had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP, its national secretary and the vice chairperson, south-south as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/165/2024 dated 7 February, but filed on 8 February, the plaintiffs sought for two orders, which include an order for the defendants or their agents not to act but to show cause why the reliefs of the plaintiffs in their originating summons should not be granted with regard to the plan of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants to exclude them and 378 other delegates, whose names and election results are contained in “Exhibits BID 8A to 8L,” from participating in the primaries of 22 February in Edo.

The plaintiffs, which include Kelvin Mohammed, Gabriel Okoduwa and Ederaho Osagie, on behalf of others in 12 local government areas and 127 wards, averred that it would be in the interest of justice for their reliefs to be granted.

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