A Federal High Court in Abeokuta has nullified the primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State that produced Ladi Adebutu as the party’s governorship candidate for the 2023 general election.
The court ordered that the party should hold an all encompassing primary with the duly elected delegates.
While presiding over the matter on Tuesday, the judge, O.O Oguntoyinbo, in his judgment ordered the party to conduct another primary within the next 14 days.
The court also barred the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the party in the state.
The party had on 25th May conducted parallel party primaries which produced candidates for all elective positions.
A governorship aspirant of the party, Segun Sowunmi, is currently in court praying that the party executives be sacked over alleged bias.
But in this suit, three members of the party, Taiwo Olabode-Idris, Kehinde Akala, and Ayinde Monsuri had sued the party, Adebutu, and INEC over the authenticity of the delegates’ lists used to conduct the primaries.
The plaintiffs contended that the delegates at the primaries were not democratically elected at the ward, local government, and state congresses.
The plantiffs further said the panel “cannot unilaterally or arbitrarily impose” the list on the party for the primaries.
The plaintiffs in their originating summons, had prayed that the court among others to nullify or set aside the state congress/indirect primary election, held by the 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.”
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Thaddeus Idenyi said, the court nullified the election “because it was conducted using a list of adhoc delegates who were not elected”.
He further said, “the implication of the judgement is obvious, the PDP will have to put their hats together and then conduct a fresh primary as ordered by the court.
“This time around, the court was specific that they have to use the list that has been certified by INEC because after the primary, those lists were submitted to INEC as parts of its report of covering those ward congresses held, so the court has now said that is the list which must be considered in the conduct of the fresh primaries, so the PDP had to just put their house together and use those lists to conduct a fresh primary.”
Reacting to the judgement Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Akinloye Bankole, said the party would study the judgment before any action is taken.