Again, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Apo, Abuja, on Monday, upheld the emergence of Senator Buruji Kashamu as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State.
Appeal Court in Ibadan, Oyo State, had on December 17, 2018, set aside a court order which directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise the list of candidates submitted for the 2019 general elections by a faction loyal to Senator Kashamu.
The applicants in the appeal were the PDP, its National Chairman, Uche Secondus; and Secretary, Ibrahim Tsauri.
The respondents are Dayo-led Ogun PDP executive loyal to Kashamu on the one hand, and INEC.
The three-man appeal panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani unanimously agreed that the lower court was wrong in its decision and consequently set aside the order, saying it was null and void.
The judgment on Monday has added to the legion of suits concerning the Ogun PDP and authentic leadership of the party in the state.
The suit was instituted by a governorship aspirant on the platform of the party and member of the House of Representatives, Oladipupo Adebutu.
Justice Ajoke Adepoju, in her judgment, struck out Adebutu’s suit on the grounds that the primary election organised by the National Working Committee, and which produced him as the governorship candidate of the party in Ogun State violated a subsisting court judgment.
Adebutu had, by the suit marked, FCT/FT/CV/29/2018, challenged the refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commission to accept his candidacy.
Justice Adepoju held that the PDP’s NWC acted in bad faith by disregarding a subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court in organising the primary that produced Adebutu.
The Judge held that since the PDP was a party to the suit in which Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court delivered the said judgment, the verdict was binding on the PDP and must be obeyed.
The Judge noted that it was the party’s NWC that had the power to conduct governorship primary election, but said the NWC, in exercising such power, must not act in violation of any court judgment.
Justice Adepoju said the PDP NWC could not hold valid primary election without recourse to the Ogun State chapter of the party or until the judgment against it by the Federal High Court was set aside by a higher court.
The court held that although Adebutu was able to establish that the primary election that produced him was conducted by the appropriate organ of the PDP, he was not entitled to be declared the candidate because of the circumstances that surrounded the conduct of the primary election in breach of a judgment that has not been set aside.