Just 24 hours to the commencement of political campaigns, the Federal High Court in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, has nullified the primary elections conducted by the state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the various positions including governorship for the 2023 polls.
Delivering his judgment, Justice O.O. Oguntoyinbo ordered the party to conduct fresh primaries within the next 14 days and communicate the outcome to INEC which is expected to supervise the exercise.
Specifically, the court barred the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Ladi Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the party in the state.
Persecondnews recalls that the party had on May 25 conducted the primary election within the prescints of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library complex which produced Adebutu as the governorship candidate.
Some members of the party — Taiwo Olabode Idris, Kehinde Akala and Alhaji Ayinde Monsuri — had taken the party, Ladi Adebutu and INEC to court, challenging the authenticity of the delegates’ lists used for the conduct of the primaries.
The plaintiffs argued, the persons on delegates’ list used by electoral panel for the primaries were not democratically elected at the ward, local government and state congresses, hence the panel “cannot unilaterally or arbitrarily impose” the list on the party for the primaries.
The plaintiffs had urged the court, among others, to nullify or set aside the state congress/indirect primary election, held by the 1st defendant (PDP) on 25th of May, 2022 for the purpose of choosing the candidate which the 1st Defendant intends to nominate/sponsor at the 2023 Governorship election in Ogun State based on the list of delegates who were not democratically elected at the ward congress.
They wanted an order directing the 2nd Defendant (INEC) to disregard and/or refrain from giving effect to the results of the alleged 1st Defendant’s indirect primary election held on the 25th of May, 2022 based on the list of ad-hoc delegates who were not elected at the ward congresses constituted by the 1st Defendant for that purpose.
Meanwhile, the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Mr Akinloye Bankole, said the party would study the judgment before taking the next line of action.