Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday fixed December 1 for judgment in the suit challenging the nomination of Oladipupo Adebutu as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Ogun State governorship election slated for March 11, 2023.
Justice Ekwo fixed the date for judgment shortly after counsel to parties adopted their written addresses as their briefs of arguments for and against the suit.
The judge in addition reserved ruling in an application for extension of time by counsel to the first and third defendants (Adebutu and the PDP) to same date of judgment.
Mr. Jimi Lawal had dragged the PDP to court over the emergence of Adebutu as candidate of the party in the forthcoming election.
His suit filed in June this year was turned down by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on grounds of lack of jurisdiction.
However, following his appeal, the judgment of Taiwo was set aside and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court was ordered to reassign the suit for fresh hearing by another judge.
The Supreme Court in a judgment on Monday, while affirming the judgment of the appellate court ordered that the case be given expeditious hearing since the 180 days allowed in law for pre-election matters would soon lapse.
Justice Ekwo, while observing that the suit would lapse on December 2, fixed December 1, for judgment.
Lawal, had in his originating summons claimed that the first respondent (PDP) violated the provisions of Section 84 (1), (2), (5)(b) and (8) of the Electoral Act and Article 25(1)(L) & (2)(C) of its constitution and guidelines in the manner the primary was conducted on May 25.
Among the issues submitted for determination were whether PDP’s primary, which resulted in the emergence of the third respondent, was conducted following the Electoral Act and PDP’s constitution.
Lawal said failure to use the candidates who emerged from the ward congresses for the governorship primaries constituted a gross violation of the Electoral Act, the constitution and guidelines of the party.