The Court of Appeal in Ibadan has set aside the Federal High Court judgement sacking all candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun and declared their immediate reinstatement.
The Abeokuta division of the Federal High Court, in its September 27 ruling, had declared in agreement with a faction of the party led by Jimi Lawal, Taiwo Olabode and Kehinde Akala that the party leaders acted in bad faith when it militarised the venue of the May 25 primary election.
The trio further accused the party’s state leadership of altering the authentic delegates’ list and undemocratically installing loyalists as party delegates. They also demanded that Ladi Adebutu be decertified as the party’s governorship candidate in the state.
The court declared Mr Adebutu’s candidacy and the primary election process in general null and void, ordering the party to hold new primaries within 14 days under the supervision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In her ruling on an appeal filed by the Ogun PDP, Justice Folasade Ojo, on Monday, declared that the trial court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter as the plaintiffs lacked “locus standi” to have approached the court.
Ms Ojo further ruled that the trial court was wrong in its ruling that asked INEC to certify the party’s candidate. The appellate court affirmed that only the party’s national leadership could nominate and conduct a primary election of the party.
The court’s ruling reaffirmed that the two factional primaries of the party held parallel to the recognised primary, where Mr Adebutu emerged, was null and avoid.
The court agreed with the PDP in all the appeals made in the suit and restored the May 25 primary election as the valid primary of the party.