At least 400 delegates of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State have filed a suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the party before the Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The delegates in the suit filed before Justice O.O. Oguntoyinbo of the court alleged disenfranchisement in the party’s recently concluded governorship primary election in the state where Oladipupo Adebutu emerged its candidate, and demanded nullification of the election.
The suit with number FHC/AB/CS/87/22, also has the governorship candidate, Adebutu and three other governorship aspirants including Segun Showunmi, Jimi Lawal and one Abodunrin as respondents.
According to PUNCH, the over 400 “certified delegates” alleged that they were barred from casting their votes at the election held on May 30.
The plaintiffs, Taiwo Idris, Kehinde Akala and Ayinde Monsuru, filed the suit on behalf of the over 400 delegates who emerged from the April 30 Ward Congress.
It was gathered that most of the delegates deposed to the affidavits before the court except the delegates from Ikenne, Sagamu and Remo North Local Government Areas.
According to the delegates, most of them who were barred from voting at the primaries were supporters of Jimi Lawal, one of the contestants who lost in the election.
They noted that they would have cast their votes for the aspirant but the PDP decided to make use of delegates who were not elected to vote at the primaries, describing it as a strategy to install the preferred candidate of some party leaders.
The aggrieved delegates who prayed the court to issue an order for PDP “to conduct fresh Special State Congress where indirect primary election to choose the 2023 governorship election will be held, also alleged that 400 out of the 728 elected ad hoc delegates from all the wards as well as those elected from 20 local government areas as national delegates were not allowed to participate in the election.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further recognising or parading any person or group of persons not elected at the ward congresses held in Ogun State on the 30th of April, 2022 as ad hoc delegates to vote at the indirect primaries for the purpose of choosing the candidate which the 1st Defendant intends to nominate/sponsor at the 2023 Governorship election in Ogun State,” the plaintiff prayed.
However, the court granted an order for substituted service on all the parties and thereafter, fixed June 22 for the return date.