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Court Voids PDP’s Ighodalo PDP Primary Victory, Slams Exclusion of Delegates

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has invalidated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election that resulted in the emergence of Asue Ighodalo as the party’s governorship candidate for the upcoming governorship election.

The primary election, which took place on February 22, 2024, was nullified following a lawsuit brought before the court by aggrieved delegates who claimed they were unlawfully excluded from participating in the electoral process.

The case was filed by Kelvin Mohammed, representing the excluded delegates.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled that the exclusion of 378 delegates who were entitled to vote at the primary election constituted a violation of both the Electoral Act 2022 and the guidelines set forth by the PDP itself.

The primary election had been conducted at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, Edo State.

“The exclusion of the delegates from participating in the primary election conducted by the PDP is a clear contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act and the internal guidelines of the party,” Justice Ekwo stated in his ruling.

Reacting to the court’s decision, the Chairman of the PDP Edo State Chapter, Dr Tony Aziegbemi, reaffirmed the party’s commitment to legal recourse while urging supporters to remain calm.

He said, “The @OfficialPDPNig is aware that certain elements who are scared of the soaring popularity of our candidate Dr Asue Ighodalo @Aighodalo are going about peddling rumours that the candidature of Dr Asue Ighodalo has been nullified.

“Let it be on record that the candidature of Dr Asue Ighodalo as the flag bearer of the party for the 2024 elections remains intact and that the judgement of the Federal High court in Abuja did not in any way affect the candidature of Dr Asue Ighodalo.

“We urge our teaming loyal supporters to remain calm and resolute as there is no cause for alarm.

“The candidature of Dr Asue Ighodalo remains intact. We are exploring all legal avenues to address this setback,” Dr Aziegbemi stated.

The ruling has sparked discussions within political circles as the PDP strategizes its next steps amidst the impending governorship elections.

After the PDP primary, 378 delegates mostly loyal to the former deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, claimed they were unlawfully excluded from voting, which violated the Electoral Act and the PDP’s internal guidelines.

Shaibu had been expelled from the party after falling out with Governor Godwin Obaseki.

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