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, against the conduct of the primary election of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that produced Asuen Ighodalo as candidate.

Among other reasons, Justice James Omotoso, in his judgment yesterday, held that the plaintiff has no locus standi (legal rights) to institute the case and  his failure to meet conditions precedent before filing the case.

In addition, the judge held that the former deputy governor, having not participated in the primary election, has no legal right under the law to challenge or attack the same.

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

The court said it was clear and unchallenged that the impeached deputy governor participated in a parallel primary election conducted in his own residence.

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Besides, Justice Omotoso held that Shuaibu failed to explore the internal mechanism of the PDP as stipulated by law to ventilate his anger before rushing to court.

He also held that the former deputy governor has no basis to call for cancellation of the primary election and nullification of the candidacy of Ighodalo, since he did not participate in the polls as required before he can qualify to lodge any complaints or have legal rights to sue anybody in respect of the election.

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

Shuaibu had in his suit prayed the court to issue an order stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting or recognising Ighodalo as governorship candidate of PDP.

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

His grouse was mainly that the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, and the PDP’s guidelines were violated in the conduct of the primary election held on February 22.

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