From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has dismissed a suit filed by the impeached Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu, challenging the conduct of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primary election that produced Asuen Ighodalo as the candidate.

Justice James Omotoso, in his judgment on Monday, held that Shuaibu lacked locus standi (legal rights) to institute the case and failed to meet conditions precedent before filing the suit.

The judge further ruled that Shuaibu, having not participated in the primary election, had no legal right under the law to challenge or attack the outcome.

Justice Omotoso stated that overwhelming evidence showed Shuaibu was not physically present at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City where the primary election was conducted on February 22.

The court also noted that it was clear and unchallenged that the impeached Deputy Governor participated in a parallel primary election conducted at his own residence.

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Furthermore, Justice Omotoso held that Shuaibu failed to explore the internal mechanisms of the PDP, as stipulated by law, to address his grievances before rushing to court.

He also ruled that Shuaibu had no basis to call for the cancellation of the primary election and nullification of Ighodalo’s candidacy since he did not participate in the poll as required to lodge any complaints or have legal rights to sue anyone in respect of the election.

The Edo governorship election is expected to be held on September 24 this year.

Shuaibu had sought an order from the court to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting or recognising Ighodalo as the PDP governorship candidate.

He also requested the court to compel the PDP to conduct a fresh primary election.

His main grievance was that the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and PDP guidelines were violated in the conduct of the primary election held on February 22.

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