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Supreme Court orders fresh hearing on PDP governorship tussle in Ogun



Court jails man for importing 1,570 pump-action guns

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the nomination of its governorship candidate in Ogun State.

A five-member panel of the apex court led by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa in a unanimous judgment ordered that the suit filed by a governorship aspirant in the state, Jimi Lawal, be remitted to the Federal High Court for a fresh trial.

The Supreme Court ordered that the lower court must speedily hear the case within the time allowed by law.

The panel agreed with the Court of Appeal that the lower court has jurisdiction under section 285 of the 1999 Constitution and section 84 [14) of the Electoral Act 2022 to hear the matter on its merit.

The apex court, therefore, ordered that the case be remitted to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja for determination by another judge other than Justice Taiwo Taiwo who refused to entertain the suit.

Lawal, who took part in the May 25 governorship primary election in the state, had challenged the emergence of Oladipupo Adebutu as the PDP governorship candidate, alleging that an unlawful delegates list was used by the party to conduct the election.

Lawal urged the court to cancel the purported primary election and another one be conducted with the authentic ad hoc delegates.

READ ALSO: Ogun PDP expels governorship aspirant, 3 others for alleged misconduct

However, Justice Taiwo in his judgment delivered on July 29 declined to hear the suit on the grounds that the primary election was a domestic affair of any political party and dismissed it.

Not satisfied, Lawal approached the Court of Appeal to set aside the lower court’s ruling over the alleged miscarriage of justice.

A three-member panel of the appellate court in their judgment delivered on September 30 agreed with Lawal, set aside the judgment of the lower court, and ordered that the suit be heard on its merit.

Dissatisfied with the Court of Appeal’s decision, the PDP approached the Supreme Court on October 14 to uphold the earlier judgment which declared that the conduct of the primary election was a domestic affair.

Justice Saulawa, who read the lead judgment, however, disagreed with PDP and declared that by virtue of Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the Federal High Court has the power to hear the case.

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