Edo 2024 governorship election: Ighodalo’s candidature remains valid – PDP

A Federal High Court in Abuja Thursday annulled the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary that produced Asue Ighodalo, in the Edo state governorship primary.

Ighodalo, it would be recalled, was the PDP guber candidate for the forthcoming guber election in the state.

While delivering his verdict, Justice Inyang Ekwo held: “the PDP’s primary held on February 22 failed to comply with the Electoral Act 2022.

“The party did not also adhere to the guidelines for the conduct of the poll and 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.

“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.

“The exclusion of the 381 delegates, including the plaintiffs, was against the provisions of the law.

“The plaintiffs were able to prove their case against the defendants by using the exhibits that were tendered,” he added.

The Judge added that from the PDP’s submission, he discovered that the returning officials who filled the result sheets merely sat down in a location to fabricate the poll’s results.

He further declared that it was illegal to exclude the 381 delegates, which included the plaintiffs.

Even though the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the initial defendant in the lawsuit, submitted a memorandum of appearance, the judge held that it was regrettable that the commission failed to submit any paperwork in the matter.

But while reacting few hours after the verdicts was handed down, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declared that Ighodalo’s candidacy remain intact.

The judgment according to the Edo State PDP chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, does not impact Dr. Ighodalo’s status as the party’s flag bearer.

The statement reads, “The PDP is aware that certain elements who are scared of the soaring popularity of our candidate Dr Asue Ighodalo are going about peddling rumors 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 judgment of the Federal High court in Abuja did not in any way affect the candidature of Dr Asue Ighodalo.

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

Meanwhile, the national secretariat of the PDP is yet to react over the pronouncement as its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba phone was switched off as at the time of going to press