From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja Thursday dismissed a suit filed by an aggrieved candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), Jimi Adebisi-Lawal.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/773/22, Lawal had contested the emergence of Oladipupo Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the party in Ogun State. The PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the 1st to 3rd defendants respectively in the suit.
It would be recalled that the duo emerged from parallel party primaries to become the governorship candidate of the party for the 2023 governorship election in the state.
Delivering his Judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the plaintiff did not provide concrete evidence to support his claim that an unlawful delegate list was used by the PDP to conduct the April 30, ward congress in Ogun. Ekwo held that the suit was a product of an afterthought; saying by filling the suit, Lawal was only playing the role of a spoiler.
He held further; “I have no reason to say that the primary election was invalid, null and void. Upon reviewing the evidence, I find that the plaintiff attempted to use a further affidavit to amend his originating summons. The case of the plaintiff has been debunked by exhibits of the defendants. I find that the case of the plaintiff lacks credible evidence and I make an order dismissing the case,” the judge said.
He alleged that an unlawful delegates list was used by the party to conduct its election.
The Supreme Court had Monday, dismissed an appeal brought before it by the PDP. The apex court ordered that the suit instituted by Lawal be remitted to the FHC for a fresh trial.
Delivering Judgment, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa held that the FHC was wrong in declining jurisdiction in the matter of Lawal. The apex Court agreed with the Court of Appeal in Abuja that the FHC had jurisdiction under Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 84 [14) of the Electoral Act, 2022 to hear the matter on its merit.
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