Adebutu vs Kashamu: Court fixes ruling date on Ogun PDP governorship ticket tussle

A Federal Capital Territory FCT High Court, Abuja, has fixed January 14 next year for judgment in a legal tussle on the propriety of nomination of governorship candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State.

Two federal lawmakers from the party and from the state, Senator Buruji Kashamu and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Hon Ladi Adebutu are laying claims to the party’s governorship ticket, having emerged from two parallel primaries conducted in the state.

In a fresh suit filed by Adebutu with Reference No. FCT/FT/CV/29/2018, he prayed the Abuja High Court to declare him as the authentic PDP candidate for the 2019 governorship Poll in Ogun State.

His ground in the suit argued by his counsel Mr. Patrick Ediale was that he emerged as a candidate from the primary election conducted by the Uche Secondus led National Working Committee of the party.

The House of Representative member also hinged his claim on the ground that he was not a party to any court case or judgment against that may have any binding effect on him.

But Kashamu, who was represented by a legal luminary Dr. Alex Izinyon SAN, urged the court to dismiss the suit on ground of lack of jurisdiction.

Izinyon told Justice Adepoju Adepegba that the primary elections in dispute were conducted in Ogun State and that the appropriate place to institute the suit remains Ogun State in the face of the law.

Besides, the senior counsel submitted that the primary election that produced Kashamu was the authentic and lawful one having been conducted in line with judgment of Justice Ibrahiim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

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In the judgment exhibited in the court, Justice Buba in an interlocutory motion had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and PDP to recognize and accept, for purposes of the 2019 Nigeria General Elections, only candidates of the PDP in Ogun State that have been nominated through primaries conducted by the Adebayo Dayo led new officers of the PDP in Ogun State.

With judgment yet to be set aside by a competence court of record, Izinyon insisted that his client remained validly elected as PDP governorship candidate for Ogun by INEC.

“The foundation of Kashamu as the third defendant in this court is routed in a judgment of a Federal High Court, Lagos to the effect that INEC should deal exclusively with candidates that emerge from the primary election conducted by Ogun State PDP,” he said.

“The judgment delivered on June 24, 2016 is still subsisting, it has not been set aside and is binding on the whole world whether parties or not to the suit” Izinyon argued.

The senior counsel told the judge that the PDP National Working Committee that conducted a parallel primes election did so in flagrant disobedience to the Federal High Court judgment of Justice Buba and that the purported Primary is liable in law to be set aside and nullified.

He urged the Judge to direct the plaintiff to pursue the pending appeal at the court of appeal rather than engaging in abuse of court process that will lead him to nowhere.

PDP represented by its National Legal Adviser, Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem canvassed that the candidacy of the plaintiff be upheld, having emerged from the primary election conducted in line with the provision of the law by the party’s National Executive Committee.

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Justice Adepoju Adepegba after taking arguments from the parties fixed January 14, 2019 to give judgment on the matter.

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