Ogun PDP Gov'ship tussle: Court decides Adebutu, Lawal's fate Dec. 1 - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Thursday, November 24, 2022

Ogun PDP Gov'ship tussle: Court decides Adebutu, Lawal's fate Dec. 1

By Editor

 The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has fixed December 1 to deliver judgement on a suit that is challenging the legality of the governorship primary election, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, conducted in Ogun State.

Justice Inyang Ekwo reserved the matter for judgement, after all the parties adopted their final briefs of argument.

It will be recalled that the Supreme Court had last Monday, in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices, remitted the suit which was filed by an aggrieved aspirant of the party, Jimi Adebisi Lawal, back to the high court for re-trial.

The apex court faulted the high court for previously declaring that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

It held that Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who initially entertained the suit, wrongly declined jurisdiction on the premise that the issue of nomination of a candidate for an election, was a domestic affair of a political party. 

While affirming the judgement of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which voided Justice Taiwo's verdict, the Supreme Court, ordered the Chief Judge of the high court to re-assign the matter to another judge for expeditious hearing.

The apex court noted that the statutory 180 days for hearing of the case, being a pre-election matter, had yet to elapse.

Meanwhile, at the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, the plaintiff, Lawal, through his team of lawyers led by a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Kanu Agabi, SAN, prayed the court to nullify the primary election that produced a factional governorship candidate of the PDP in Ogun state, Oladipupo Adebutu.

The plaintiff specifically challenged the delegates list that was used in the conduct of the gubernatorial primary election the party held in the state on May 25, 2022.

He contended that the list was not in tandem with names of delegates he said were democratically elected at the ward congresses

Consequently, Lawal, prayed the court to invalidate the outcome of the said primary election and to order the PDP to conduct a fresh one.

However, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, who appeared for both the PDP and Adebutu, urged the court to dismiss the suit as lacking in merit.

Chief Uche, SAN, maintained that the primary election was held in strict compliance with both the Electoral Act, the constitution of the party as well as its guidelines for governorship primary election.

He, therefore, prayed the court to affirm Adebutu as the authentic candidate of the party for the impending governorship contest in Ogun state.

After he had listened to both parties, Justice Ekwo, who noted that the lifespan of the suit will expire by December 2, said he would do everything possible to ensure that judgement was delivered before the statutory deadline.

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