Court throws out Philip Shaibu’s suit against Edo PDP governorship election

The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit instituted by the impeached Deputy Governor of Edo State, Phillip Shaibu, challenging the primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party that produced Asuen Ighodalo as candidate.

Justice James Kolawole Omotoso dismissed the suit on various grounds among which are that the plaintiff has no locus standi (legal rights) to institute the case and failure to meet conditions precedent.

The Judge held that the former Deputy Governor, having not participated in the primary election, has no right under the law to challenge or attack same.

Justice Omotoso said there was overwhelming evidence that Shaibu was not physically present at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City where the primary election took place on February 22.

The court said it was clear and unchallenged that the impeached Deputy Governor participated at a parallel primary election conducted in his residence.

Besides, Justice Omotoso held that he failed to explore internal mechanism of the PDP to ventilate his anger before rushing to the court.

He also held that the former Deputy Governor has no basis to call for cancellation of the primary election and nullification of the candidacy of Ighodalo since he did not participate in the poll as required before he qualifies to lodge any complaints or have legal rights to sue anybody in respect of the election.

The Edo governorship election is expected to hold on September 24 this year.

Shuaibu had in his suit prayed the Court to issue an order stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), from accepting or recognizing Ighodalo as governorship candidate of PDP.

He also requested for another order to compel the PDP to conduct a fresh primary election.

His grouse was mainly that the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and PDP guidelines were violated in the conduct of the primary election.