Monday, November 28, 2022

Court nullifies PDP primaries in Ogun, orders fresh election

The presiding judge ordered a fresh primary election to be held within the next 14 days.

• September 27, 2022
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) logo used to illustrate the story

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun state has been ordered by a Federal High Court in Abeokuta to conduct fresh primary election.

The presiding judge, Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, in his judgement nullified the elections held in May and ordered a fresh one to be held within the next 14 days.

Also, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was barred from recognising Ladi Adebutu as the gubernatorial flag bearer of the party in the 2023 election. 

In the suit jointly filed by Jimi Lawal, Taiwo Olabode and Kehinde Akala, the trio had sought the court to declare the May 25 primary election null and void.

According to their argument, the PDP acted in bad faith by militarising the election venue and used an inauthentic list of delegates to carry out the process. 

They also argued that the PDP electoral panel lacked the power to “unilaterally or arbitrarily impose” the delegates’ list for the primary process, since those on the list were not democratically chosen at the party’s ward, local government, and state congresses.

Mr Lawal, who is also a governorship aspirant, told Peoples Gazette that the party left the plaintiffs with no choice but to seek legal redress. 

“They brought in soldiers to militarise the venue and used a fake list of delegates to achieve their aim. We had to go to court to upturn the malpractice,” he said. “The court has now ordered that a fresh primary be conducted and that the authentic list of delegates is used.”

Commenting on the judgement, counsel to the plaintiff, Thaddeus Idenyi, said “the PDP will have to put their hats together and then conduct a fresh primary as ordered by the court.

“This time around, the court was specific that they have to use the list that has been certified by INEC because after the primary, those lists were submitted to INEC as parts of its report of covering those ward congresses held, so the court has now said that is the list which must be considered in the conduct of the fresh primaries, so the PDP had to just put their house together and use those lists to conduct a fresh primary,” Mr Idenyi added.

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