Supreme Court Orders Fresh Suit Over Ogun PDP Gov Primary Dispute

The Supreme Court has ordered fresh hearing of the suit challenging the nomination of Oladipupo Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State.

In a judgment on Monday, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court held that Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja was wrong in declining jurisdiction and failing to hear the case on its merit.

Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, in the lead judgment, affirmed an earlier judgment by the Court of Appeal, Abuja which held that the issue of primary was not internal to a political party and as such, could not be classified as an internal affair of the party over which a court lacked jurisdiction, as held by Justice Taiwo.

Justice Saulawa added that the Federal High Court has jurisdiction, under Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 84 [14) of the Electoral Act 2022, to hear the suit, which is challenging the conduct of Ogun PDP’s governorship primary held on May 25.

The judge ordered that the case be remitted to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja for hearing by another judge.

The judgment was on the appeal filed by the PDP against the September 30 judgment of the Court of Appeal, which set aside Justice Taiwo’s judgment and ordered that the suit by Jimi Lawal be heard on the merit by the Federal High Court.

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Lawal, an aspirant that, who participated in the May 25 governorship primary of the Ogun PDP had sued at the Federal High Court, Abuja to challenge Adebutu’s emergence as the party’s candidate.

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Lawal alleged among others, that an unlawful delegates list was used by the PDP to conduct the election.

He then prayed the court to void the primary nnd order the conduct of fresh one, using ‘the authentic adhoc delegates list.”

In his judgment on July 29 Justice Taiwo declined jurisdiction on the grounds that primary election was a domestic affair of any political party, a decision Lawal appealed at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

In its judgment on September 30, a three-member panel panel of the Court of Appeal set aside judgment by Justice Taiwo and ordered that the case be heard on merit.

It is the appeal that the PDP lodged against the Court of Appeal in judgment that the Supreme Court dismissed on Monday and ordered that Lawal’s case be heard on merit.

 

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