Edo 2024: Court nullifies PDP governorship primary election; Edo PDP says Ighodalo, Ogie ticket intact

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday July 4 invalidated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election that produced Asue Ighodalo as its governorship candidate.

Justice Inyang Ekwo nullified the primary held on February 22, 2024 because 378 delegates who were supposed to vote were unlawfully excluded by the party.

In his judgment, Justice Ekwo ruled in favor of a suit filed by one Kelvin Mohammed in a representative capacity on behalf of the aggrieved delegates.

He reasoned that the conduct of the primary at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin violated both the Electoral Act 2022 and the PDP guidelines.

Justice Ekwo added that the plaintiffs through the exhibits tendered were able to establish their case against the defendants.

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

The plaintiffs, who are reportedly loyal to Philip Shaibu, the impeached deputy governor of the state, had earlier averred that it would be in the interest of justice for their reliefs to be granted.

And responding to the court’s ruling, the PDP described the judgment as “a strange development and contrary to a long line of Appellate Courts’ decision on the subject.”

Meanwhile, the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Organisation has stated that the Federal High Court ruling regarding the party’s delegate election does not invalidate the primary election results that produced Asue Ighodalo as the party’s gubernatorial candidate and Osarodion Ogie as his running mate.

In a statement on Thursday, the campaign organisation said: “Today, July 4, 2024, the Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Hon. Justice Ekwo entered a judgment in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/165 of 2024 (HON. KELVIN MOHAMMED & 2 ORS VS INEC & 3 ORS), which was filed by some disgruntled persons who claimed that they were authentic delegates wrongly excluded from participating in the choice of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo State.

“In a strange development and contrary to a long line of Appellate Courts’ decision on the subject, the Hon. Justice held that the issue of ward congresses and choice of the delegates, is a justiciable matter which the court is entitled to look into.”

The campaign organisation further clarified that, ““It must be noted that the Edo State PDP and the specific court involved in this matter have a history on exactly this same point in which the Appellate Court had cause to set aside similar decisions of that same Court and to restate the law that ward congresses and the choice of delegates are purely internal affairs of political parties outside the jurisdiction of any court.

“We are confident that this new decision will not survive the test of appeal and all necessary steps in that regard are already being actively pursued.”

“Furthermore, it must be noted that the claim in question and the resulting judgment did not in any way invalidate or challenge the outcome of the PARTY PRIMARIES that produced the PDP candidate for the forthcoming elections.

“The net result is that contrary to the misinformation spread by mischief makers, the PDP primaries held on February 22, 2024, were not set aside, and no order was given affecting their outcome,” the statement stated.

The PDP urged its members and Edo residents to stay calm and dismiss “mischief makers” who claim otherwise. They say the full court judgement will soon be available to the public, and it will clarify that the primaries stand.

“Members and supporters of the PDP, as well as the good people of Edo State, are urged to remain calm and ignore the antics of mischief makers, as the falsity of their assertions will be made clear in due course, upon the release of the actual judgment for public consumption,” the party said.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: