Edo 2024: Philip Shaibu celebrates Ighodalo’s PDP ticket loss; PDP reacts

Former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt Hon Philip Shaibu has celebrated the reported disqualification of Asue Ighodalo as governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the elections set to hold in the State.

Advertisement (TNG) reports a Federal High Court Abuja, on Thursday, invalidated the PDP primary election that produced Ighodalo as party’s candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo.

The former Deputy Governor in a video now trending on social media indicated that the court’s ruling invalidating the PDP’s governorship primary election supports his prior claim that the PDP failed to hold a proper primary election.

“I said it from day one that I have the authentic delegates and they voted for me on the day of the primary.

“I said that what happened that day at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium was like a birthday party or a wedding reception because the real people that were supposed to vote were not there but with the court now I have been vindicated.

“I have been vindicated and I salute the judiciary. This victory is for the Edo people, it is for democracy and by the grace of God, we will take our state back from outsiders,” Shaibu said.

Recall the Federal High Court Abuja, on Thursday, invalidated the PDP primary election that produced Asue Ighodalo as party’s candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, held that the PDP’s primary held on Feb. 22 failed to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022; the guidelines for the conduct of the poll amd the party’s constitution.

Justice Ekwo, who said that the Exhibit PDP 1 tendered by the party was bereft of evidence, held that the plaintiffs, through the exhibits tendered, were able to establish their case against the defendants.

The judge said that from the exhibit presented by the PDP, he found that the returning officers who prepared the result sheets only sat down in a place to manufacture the outcome.of the poll.

He said the exclusion of the 381 delegates, including the plaintiffs, were against the provisions of the law.

Justice Ekwo held that, though INEC, the 1st defendant, filed a memorandum of appearance in the suit, it was unfortunate that the commission did not file any process in the case.

According to the judge, the 1st defendant counsel only said it will be bound by the decision of the court.

“I found that the case of the plaintiffs succeed on merit,” he said.

Three aggrieved ad-hoc delegates, on behalf of the 378 others, had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP, its national secretary and the vice chairman, south south as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.

In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/165/2024 dated Feb. 7 but filed Feb 8, the plaintiffs sought for two orders

These include an order for the defendants or their agents not to act but to show cause why the reliefs of the plaintiffs in their originating summons should not be granted with regard to the plan of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants to exclude them and 378 other delegates, whose names and election results are contained in “Exhibits BID 8A to 8L,” from participating in the primaries.of Feb. 22 in Edo.

The plaintiffs, which include Hon Kelvin Mohammed, Mr Gabriel Okoduwa and Mr Ederaho Osagie, on behalf of others in 12 local government areas and 127 wards, averred that it would be in the interest of justice for their reliefs to be granted.

Meanwhile, the PDP in Edo has said the Federal High Court’s judgment on its primaries does not affect its governorship candidature in the coming governorship election in the state.

The party stated in Benin on Thursday that Dr Asue Ighodalo remained the PDP governorship candidate in Edo.

Dr Tony Aziegbemi, the state PDP chairman, said that Ighodalo’s candidature for the 2024 election remained intact.

“The PDP is aware that certain elements who are scared of the soaring popularity of our candidate are going about peddling rumours that  Ighodalo candidature has been nullified.

“Let it be on record that Ighodalo is the PDP flagbearer for the 2024 governorship election in Edo,” he said.

It would be recalled that the Federal High court sitting in Abuja on Thursday, voided the PDP primary election conducted on Feb. 22.

The judgment was voided on grounds that the 378 delegates who were supposed to vote at the primaries were unlawfully excluded by the  PDP.

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