Jimi Lawal and Adebutu both claiming to be the governorship candidate of the party for the 2023 governorship election in the state.
The trial Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgement delivered on Tuesday, re-affirmed Oladipupo Adebutu as the winner of the Ogun State Governorship Primary of the PDP after dismissing Jimi Lawal’s suit for lacking credible evidence.
The judge said that the plaintiff, by filing the suit, was only playing the role of a spoiler as the suit was a product of an afterthought.
“I have no reason to say that the primary election was invalid, null, and void. Upon reviewing the evidence, I find that the plaintiff attempted to use a further affidavit to amend his originating summons.
“The case of the plaintiff has been debunked by exhibits of the defendants. I find that the case of the plaintiff lacks credible evidence and I make an order dismissing the case,” Justice Ekwo held.
Jimi Lawal who contested the May 25 governorship primary election of the PDP had challenged the emergence of Oladipupo Adebutu alleging that unlawful and invalid delegates list was fraudulently used by the PDP to conduct the election.
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Lawal had prayed that the purported primary election be cancelled and another conducted with the authentic Adhoc delegates.
But the court held in its judgement that the delegate list which Lawal is challenging is the same list approved by the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which was used during the primaries in which Adebutu emerged as the Candidate of the party.
Jimi Lawal’s suit, filed in June, was turned down by Justice Taiwo Taiwo for lack of jurisdiction.
Justice Taiwo, in his judgment of July 29 held that the primary election was a domestic affair of any political party and dismissed the suit.
However, following Lawal’s appeal, the judgment of Taiwo was set aside and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court was ordered to reassign the suit for fresh hearing by another judge.
The Supreme Court in its judgment of November 21, while affirming the judgment of the appellate court ordered that the case be given an expeditious hearing.
The court based its ruling on the grounds that the 180 days allowed in law for pre-election matters would soon elapse.
The case was consequently re-assigned to Justice Ekwo who observed that the life span of the suit would elapse on December 2 and subsequently, fixed Dec. 1 for judgment.
Justice Ekwo heard the suit expeditiously in compliance with the order of the apex court.
Speaking to newsmen, counsel to Adebutu, Mr. Chris Uche, (SAN) said the court has vindicated the primary election victory of his client.
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