ABEOKUTA – A Federal High Court, sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Tuesday has nullified the governorship primary election of Peoples Democratic Party that produced Ladi Adebutu as the party’s governorship candidate for the 2023 general elections.
All other primary elections that produced every other candidate in the Adebutu faction were also nullified.
Recall that, the trio of Taiwo Olabode, Kehinde Akala and Alhaji Ayinde Monsuru in an originating summon had approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta seeking nullification of May 25, 2022 governorship primary election that produced Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu as PDP governorship candidate in Ogun state.
The trio said the first defendant, PDP and Second defendant, INEC contravened provisions of section 84 (5) (b) and (8) of the Electoral Act, 2022, and Paragraph 1(b)(i) of Part 1 of the 1st Defendant’s Electoral Guidelines for Primary Election, 2022 by allowing persons who were not democratically elected as adhoc delegates to vote at the governorship indirect primary.
They urged the court to compel PDP and INEC to rely on the list of adhoc delegates elected at its ward congresses held on the 30th of April, 2022 in the conduct of the indirect primary election to choose its governorship.
Hon. Justice O.O Oguntoyinbo, during the sitting in Abeokuta on Tuesday, in his ruling, ordered immediate conduct of fresh primaries for PDP in the state.
Justice Oguntoyinbo averred that only delegates validly voted at 30 April 2022 Congresses can vote at PDP Guber primaries by virtue of 84(5)(b) and PDP Guidelines, saying PDP can’t resolve from, alter or depart from the result of those congresses.
The court noted that, the National Electoral Panel constituted for the Ogun State PDP cannot unilaterally impose delegates or use a delegates list different from the result of the Congresses.
It said the PDP indirect Guber primaries of 25 May 2022 using the list of unelected ad hoc delegates is null and void.
The court further explained that INEC cannot accept the result or candidate that emerged from the null and void primaries, directing INEC to disregard and refrain from giving effect to PDP Primaries Result.
The court declared that, PDP primary election of May 25, 2022 using a list of unelected ad hoc delegates set aside and nullified, ordering PDP to conduct fresh primaries within 14 days using the INEC certified delegates’ list.
Reacting the Media Director, Ladi Adebutu Development Organization, Afolabi Orekoya dismissed the court ruling, saying no cause for alarm.
He expressed surprise that, a federal court could rule over a similar case which a Federal High Court in Abuja had presided over and ruled in favour of Hon. Adebutu.
He said the party will study the Certified True Copy of the judgment and challenge it at the Appeal Court, saying, Hon. Adebutu remain PDP governorship candidate.
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