By Kenneth Atavti
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed an appeal brought before it by the 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 one Jimi Adebisi Lawal, a governorships aspirant be remitted to the Federal High Court for a fresh trial.
Justice Ibrahim Saulawa in a judgment in the appeal of PDP 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 Federal high court 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 in Abuja, for determination by another judge other than Justice Taiwo Taiwo who refused to entertain the suit.
Justice Saulawa in a unanimous judgment of a five-man panel of the apex Court ordered that the Federal high court must speedily hear the case of Lawal against Oladipupo Adebutu and PDP within time allowed by law.
Jimi Lawal who contested the May 25, 2022 governorship primary election of PDP had challenged the emergence of Adebutu alleging that unlawful delegates list was used by PDP to conduct the 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 Federal High Court in his judgment delivered on July 29, 2022 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 Federal High Court 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 judgment of the FHC and ordered that the suit be heard on its merit..
The PDP, not satisfied with the Court of Appeal 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 power to hear the case of Jimi Lawal.
The apex Court proceeded with an order to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to reassign the case to another judge for retrial on its merit.