Court dismisses Shaibu’s suit seeking cancellation of Edo PDP governorship primary

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the impeached deputy governor of Edo State, Mr Philip Shaibu challenging the conduct of the primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that produced Asuen Ighodalo as its governorship candidate.

In a judgement delivered, on Monday, Justice James Kolawole Omotoso dismissed the suit on various grounds, among which were that the plaintiff had no locus standi (legal rights) to institute the case and his failure to meet conditions precedent before filing the case.

The judge held that the former deputy governor, having not participated in the primary, had no legal right under the law to challenge or attack same.

Justice Omotoso said, there was overwhelming evidence that Shaibu was not physically present at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, where the primary was conducted on February 22.

He said it was clear and unchallenged that the plaintiff participated in a parallel primary conducted in his own residence.

Besides, Justice Omotoso held that Shaibu failed to explore internal mechanism of the PDP as stipulated by law to ventilate his anger before rushing to the court.

He also held that the former deputy governor had no basis to call for cancellation of the primary and nullification of the candidacy of Ighodalo, since he did not participate in the election as required before he could qualify to lodge any complaints or have legal rights to sue anybody in respect of the election.

The Edo governorship election is expected to hold on September 24 this year.

Shaibu had, in his suit prayed the court to issue order stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting or recognising Ighodalo as governorship candidate of PDP.

He also requested the court for another order to compel PDP to conduct a fresh primary.

According to the former deputy governor, the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and PDP guidelines were violated in the conduct of the primary election held on February 22.

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