Edo Guber: Shaibu loses suit challenging Ighodalo’s candidacy

Edo Guber: Shaibu loses suit challenging Ighodalo’s candidacy

The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the suit instituted by Philip Shaibu, the impeached Deputy Governor of Edo State, challenging the primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, where Dr Asue Ighodalo was nominated as the Party’s flagbearer.

The suit was dismissed by Justice Kolawole Omotoso on several grounds among which are that Shaibu has no legal rights to institute the case because he did not participate in the primary election he sought to challenge. Omotoso held that Shaibu has no right under law to challenge or attack the primary election.

Edo State PDP Governorship candidate, Asue Ighodalo
Edo State PDP Governorship candidate, Asue Ighodalo

Justice Omotoso said, in his ruling, that there was strong evidence that the impeached Deputy Governor was not physically present at the venue of the primary election which took place on February 22nd.

The judge said that Shaibu conducted and participated at a parallel primary election which he conducted in his private residence. The judge added that Shaibu failed to explore internal mechanism of the Party to air his indignation before coming to the court.

The judge also held that on these basis, Shaibu has no legal right to call for the cancellation of the exercise as well as the nullification of the emerged candidate, Asue Ighodalo, since he obviously did not participate in the primary.

The impeached deputy governor instituted a suit in the Abuja Federal High Court immediately after the primary praying the Court to issue an order stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from accepting or recognizing the winner as the governorship candidate of the Party.

He added that the court should compel the Party to conduct a fresh primary election immediately. In the suit, he argued that the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and the PDP guidelines were grossly violated in the conduct of the said primary election where Ighodalo emerged as the winner by a wide margin.

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