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Breaking: Court Declares Edo PDP Governorship Primary Poll Invalid



The Federal High Court sitting Abuja on Thursday declared as invalid the People’s Democratic Party’s Primary election that produced Asue Ighodalo as a governorship candidate.

The primary election conducted on February 22, 2024 was voided on the ground that 378 delegates who were supposed to vote at the primary election were unlawfully excluded by PDP.

Trial Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo invalidated the primary election while delivering judgment in a suit instituted by the aggrieved delegates.

The suit marked THC/ABJ/CS/165/2024 was instituted by one Kelvin Mohammed in a representative capacity.

Justice Ekwo held that both the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and PDP Guidelines were grossly violated in the conduct of the primary election at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium in Benin.

Justice Ekwo, who noted that 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 court held that from the exhibit 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 added that the exclusion of the 381 delegates, including the plaintiffs, was 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.

According to the judge, the 1st defendant’s counsel only said it would be bound by the court’s decision.

“I found that the case of the plaintiffs succeeds on merit,” he said.

The 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.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/165/2024 dated February 7 but filed February 8, the plaintiffs sought for two orders.

These include 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 about the plan of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants to exclude them and 378 other delegates, whose names and election results are contained in “Exhibits BID 8A to 8L,” from participating in the primaries.of February 22 in Edo.

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