The Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed 1 December for judgment in a suit filed by Jimi Lawal, an aggrieved governorship aspirant in the Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s primary election.
Mr Lawal is challenging the emergence of Oladipupo Adebutu as the Ogun State governorship candidate from the PDP’s 25 May primary election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judge, Inyang Ekwo, fixed the date for judgement on the suit after counsel for the parties made their closing arguments on Thursday.
This came days after the Supreme Court ordered the case to be heard afresh by the trial court.
The case had earlier been thrown out by another judge of the Federal High Court, Taiwo Taiwo (now retired).
Mr Lawal, through his lawyer, Kanu Agabi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), urged the court at the rehearing of the case on Thursday to nullify the 25 May primary election and order a fresh one.
Chris Uche (SAN), who appeared for the PDP and Mr Adebutu, prayed the court to grant his preliminary objection by dismissing the suit for being frivolous and lacking in merit.
After listening to the lawyers, including counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Bashir Abubakar, the judge, Mr Ekwo, adjourned the matter until 1 December for judgment.
Mr Lawal, had in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/773/22, sued the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Mr Adebutu, who was emerged as the winner of the 25 May governorship primary election of the PDP in Ogun State.
Mr Lawal, an aspirant jostling for the party’s ticket in the state, had filed his suit to challenge the emergence of Mr Adebutu as party’s governorship candidate.
He alleged that an unlawful delegates list was used by the party to conduct its election.
Mr Lawal had prayed, among others, that the purported primary election of 25 May be cancelled and another be conducted with the authentic ad-hoc delegates.
NAN reports that another judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Taiwo Taiwo, (now retired), had dismissed the suit on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear it.
Mr Taiwo, in his judgment delivered on 29 July held that the primary election was a domestic affair of any political party.
Not satisfied, Mr Lawal appealed against the decision at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, in its judgment delivered on 30 September, agreed with Mr Lawal. The court set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court and ordered that the suit be heard afresh on its merit.
This time, PDP was displeased with the Court of Appeal’s decision and proceeded to the Supreme Court to appeal against it.
The party urged the Supreme Court to affirm the judgement of the Federal High Court by declaring the contested primary election a domestic affair which the court should not meddle in.
The Supreme Court, on Monday, ordered that the case be heard on its merit by the Federal High Court. It held that it was wrong for the court to decline jurisdiction to hear it.
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