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Edo Guber: PDP fumes over nullification of primary as APC asks Ighodalo to defect

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The Edo State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Campaign Organisation has rejected an Abuja Federal High Court judgment which nullified the election of Barrister Asue Ighodalo as the party’s flagbearer in the September 21 governorship poll.

DAILY POST reports that the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, however, invited the embattled PDP governorship candidate to defect to the party.

Rejecting Justice Inyang Ekwo’s verdict in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/165 of 2024, the Director-General of PDP Campaign Council, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen at a press conference in Benin City on Thursday described the judgment as “a strange development and contrary to a long line of Appellate Courts’ decision on the subject”.

Iduoriyekemwen opined that the judgment did not invalidate the outcome of the party’s primary election which produced Ighodalo and his running mate, Osarodion Ogie.

He posited that the campaign council was confident that the judgement would not survive the test of appeal.

He said, “Today, July 4, 2024, the Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Hon. Justice Ekwo entered a judgment in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/165 of 2024 (HON. KELVIN MOHAMMED & 2 ORS VS INEC & 3 ORS), which was filed by some persons who claimed that they were authentic delegates wrongly excluded from participating in the choice of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo State.

“In a strange development and contrary to a long line of Appellate Courts’ decision on the subject, the Hon. Justice held that the issue of ward congresses and choice of the delegates, is a justifiable matter which the court is entitled to look into.

“It must be noted that the Edo State PDP and the specific court involved in this matter have a history on exactly this same point in which the Appellate Court had cause to set aside similar decisions of that same Court and to restate the law that ward congresses and the choice of delegates are purely internal affairs of political parties outside the jurisdiction of any court.

“Furthermore, it must be noted that the claim in question and the judgment which arose therefrom did not in any shape or form invalidate or even challenge the outcome of the party primaries which produced the candidate of the PDP for the forthcoming elections.

“The net result therefore is that contrary to the stories making the rounds, spread by mischief makers, the PDP primaries held on February 22, 2024, were not set aside and neither was any order given affecting the outcome of same.”

He, however, urged members and supporters of the party as well as the people of Edo State to remain calm and ignore the antics of mischief makers.

According to him, the falsehood of the mischief makers would be made clear in the fullness of time and upon release of the actual judgment for public consumption.

However, speaking on the court judgement, Orobosa Omo-Ojo, the Director, Publicity Committee, APC Governorship Campaign Council, urged the embattled PDP candidate, Ighodalo, to join hands with Senator Monday Okpebholo, the APC flagbearer, to deliver Edo State.

Omo-Ojo explained that the news of the disqualification of Asue Ighodalo as the PDP candidate had been received by Edo people as “a relief from imposition of forgery and continuation of self serving governance in our state”.

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