Edo PDP Insists On Ighodalo’s Candidacy Despite Court ruling

 


The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has said Asue Ighodalo remains the party’s candidate for the September 21 governorship election.

Tony Aziegbemi, the party’s chairman, said this in a statement while reacting to a Federal High Court judgement that declared that the party has no candidate in the election.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment on Thursday, held that the PDP’s primary held on February 22, 2024, failed to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, the guidelines for the conduct of the poll, and the party’s constitution.

The judge held that the exclusion of the 381 delegates, including the plaintiffs, was against the provisions of the law.

“I found that the case of the plaintiffs succeeds on merit,” the judge ruled.

But reacting, Aziegbemi said the PDP is aware that certain elements who are scared of the soaring popularity of its candidate are going about peddling rumours that his candidature has been nullified.

“Let it be on record that the candidature of Dr. Asue Ighodalo as the flag bearer of the party for the 2024 elections remains intact and that the judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja did not in any way affect the party,” he said.

He, however, urged supporters to remain calm and resolute, adding that there is no cause for alarm.

Also reacting, the PDP Campaign Council for the governorship election insisted that the judgement did not invalidate the outcome of the party’s primary election, which produced the party’s candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo, and his running mate, Osarodion Ogie.

The Director General of the PDP Governorship Campaign Council, Mathew Iduoriyekemwuen, described the judgment as “a strange development and contrary to a long line of appellate courts’ decisions on the subject.”

He said the PDP is confident that the decision will not survive the test of appeal and that the necessary steps in that regard are already being actively pursued.

Meanwhile, the immediate past deputy governor and an aspirant in the primary, Comrade Philip Shaibu, described the judgement as a victory for the Edo people and democracy.

He said they have been vindicated that what happened at the Samuel Osagbovo Ogbemudia Stadium was not in line with the law.

He said 10 of them contested the primary and that nine of them are together seeking justice, saying, “We will meet and agree on what to do; I am a team player.”

Also speaking, an aspirant of the party in the primary, Barrister Aslem Ojezua, said he was not surprised that the judgement did not favour the PDP.

On his part, the PDP state secretary, Hilary Otsu, said the judgement was the result of illegality, flaunting the process, and refusing to carry everybody along in the process of the primaries.

“We have been warning since we saw this coming because everything the governor did way back was in error. He refused to follow the law and due process and integrate the entire party structure and members into the process as well as the exercise.

“It is unfortunate and regrettable that the PDP will not have a candidate in the election, but there is nothing we can do; it is a court order, and we have to follow the law,” he said.

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