Court Nullifies Edo PDP Gov Primary Election

The Federal High Court in Abuja led by Justice Inyang Ekwo has voided the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship election in Edo State that produced Asue Ighodalo as its candidate.

Delivering judgement, Justice Ekwo nullified the primary election, and held that both the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and the PDP guidelines were violated in the conduct of the primary election at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Justice Ekwo, who said that Exhibit PDP 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, was against the provisions of the law.

Justice Ekwo held that, though the Independent National Electoral Commission (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’s counsel only said it would be bound by the decision of the court.

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

The three aggrieved ad-hoc delegates, on behalf of the 378 others, had sued INEC, the PDP, its national secretary, and the vice chairman, South-South as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.

In the suit, the plaintiffs sought two orders.These 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 concerning 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 Feb. 22 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.

The 381 delegates are those loyal to Philip Shaibu, the impeached deputy governor

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Rita Elenwo

Rita Aletor- Elenwo, is a professional journalist with experience in broadcast, print and online reporting. A proud citizen of Edo state, Nigeria (Esan South East Local Government) Rita had her first degree in philosophy from Ebonyi State University (2008), PGD, in Communication from the University of Port Harcourt (2020), and currently in pursuit of an MSC degree in communication. Rita (nee Aletor-) is happily married with lovely children.

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