PDP Takes Actions on Court Ruling that Nullified their Edo Governorship Primary

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PDP Takes Actions on Court Ruling that Nullified their Edo Governorship Primary

 

By Deborah Musa

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On Wednesday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appealed to the Court of Appeal in Abuja to challenge the Federal High Court’s ruling that nullified its February 22 governorship primary in Edo State. This primary had produced Asue Igbodalo as the party’s candidate for the September 21 governorship election.

 

The PDP’s appeal, which is based on 25 grounds, requests the appellate court to overturn the lower court’s decision delivered on July 4, 2024.

 

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja had previously ruled that the PDP’s primary election in Edo State was invalid. He stated that the party failed to comply with its own constitution and electoral guidelines by excluding 378 elected ward delegates from participating in the primary. This exclusion, he ruled, violated Article 50(3) of the party’s constitution and the Electoral Act 2022.

 

Justice Ekwo emphasized that political parties must adhere to their own constitutions, guidelines, and regulations. “The failure to comply with the electoral guidelines is not different from the effect of non-compliance with the constitution of the political party or non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022,” he stated. He further declared that the PDP’s decision to exclude the elected ward delegates was arbitrarily wrong.

 

The court ordered that the PDP must allow the excluded delegates to participate in the primary election. “An order is hereby made directing the defendants…to abide by the outcome of the three ad-hoc delegates ward congress of February 4, 2024, at which the plaintiffs and the other 378 delegates…were elected,” Justice Ekwo ruled.

 

In its appeal, dated July 9 and marked CA/ABJ/CV/2024, the PDP, through its lawyer Adeyemi Ajibade (SAN), argued that the trial court’s decision was against the weight of evidence. The respondents in the appeal include Kelvin Mohammed, Gabriel Okoduwa, Ederaho Osagie (representing the 378 ad hoc delegates), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the National Secretary of the PDP, and the Vice Chairman, PDP South-South.

 

The PDP contended that the lower court erred in granting reliefs sought by the respondents. It argued that there was no basis for the trial court’s decision and maintained that the three-man ad hoc ward congress on February 4 did not include the first to third respondents as elected delegates. The party insisted that its candidate, Igbodalo, was duly elected by the participating ad hoc delegates.

 

The PDP is seeking an order from the appellate court to overturn the lower court’s judgment and dismiss the entire suit due to lac

k of jurisdiction.


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