ABUJA – The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal brought before it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the lingering legal battle on the nomination of its governorship candidate in Ogun State.
The apex court ordered that the suit instituted by Jimi Lawal, a governorship aspirant be remitted to the Federal High Court for a fresh trial.
Delivering Judgement, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa held that the Federal High Court was wrong in declining jurisdiction in the matter of Jimi Lawal.
The apex Court agreed with the Court of Appeal in Abuja that the FHC had jurisdiction under section 285 of the 1999 constitution and section 84 [14) of the Electoral Act 2022 to hear the matter of Lawal on its merit.
The Supreme Court, therefore, ordered that the case be remitted to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for determination by another judge other than Justice Taiwo Taiwo who refused to entertain the suit.
Lawal who contested the May 25 governorship primary election of the PDP had challenged the emergence of Adebutu, alleging that an unlawful delegates list was used by the main opposition party to conduct its election.
Among others, Lawal had prayed that the purported primary election of May 25 be cancelled and another be conducted with the authentic Adhoc delegates.
However, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the FHC in his judgment delivered on July 29 declined to hear the suit of Jimi Lawal on merit on the grounds that the primary election was a domestic affair of any political party and dismissed the suit.
Not satisfied, Lawal approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja with a prayer that the decision of the FHC be voided and set aside on the ground of miscarriage of justice.
A three-man panel of justices of the Court of Appeal in their judgment delivered on September 30, agreed with Jimi Lawal, set aside the judgment of the FHC and ordered that the suit be heard on its merit.
The PDP, not satisfied with the Court of Appeal’s decision, approached the Supreme Court praying that the judgment of the Federal High Court be upheld to the effect that the conduct of the primary election is its domestic affair.
But Justice Saulawa disagreed with PDP, holding that by virtue of Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 84 of the electoral act 2022, the Federal High Court has the power to hear the case of Jimi Lawal.
The apex court proceeded with an order to the Chief Judge of the FHC to reassign the case to another judge for retrial on its merit.