Edo Gov’ship: Court Voids PDP’s Ighodalo’s Candidacy

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has set aside the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election that produced Asue Ighodalo as the party’s candidate for the September 21 governorship election in Edo State.

The court, in its judgement on Thursday, held that the PDP’s primary election held on February 22 failed to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022; the guidelines for the conduct of the poll, and the party’s constitution.

Justice Ekwo, who said that the Exhibit PDP 1 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 exhibits 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, were against the provisions of the law.

Justice Ekwo held that, though 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.

“I found that the case of the plaintiffs succeed on merit,” the Judge said.

Three aggrieved ad-hoc delegates, on behalf of the 378 others, had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP, its national secretary and the vice chairman, South-South, as 1st to 4th defendants, respectively.

They had prayed for 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 with regard to the plan of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants to exclude them and 378 other delegates, whose names and election results were contained in “Exhibits BID 8A to 8L,” from participating in the primaries of February 22 in Edo State.

The plaintiffs, which included Hon. Kelvin Mohammed, Mr Gabriel Okoduwa and Mr Ederaho Osagie, on behalf of others in 12 local government areas and 127 wards of the State, averred that it would be in the interest of justice for their reliefs to be granted by the court.

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