Court Rejects Shaibu’s Bid to Invalidate Edo PDP Governorship Primary

By Milcah Tanimu

The Federal High Court in Abuja has turned down a legal challenge brought by Philip Shaibu, the impeached former deputy governor of Edo State, seeking to nullify the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial primary that led to the emergence of Asuen Ighodalo as the party’s candidate.

In a ruling handed down on Monday, Justice James Kolawole Omotoso dismissed Shaibu’s case on several grounds, including his lack of legal standing to bring the suit and his failure to fulfill preconditions for filing such a case.

The judge emphasized that Shaibu, who did not participate in the primary, lacked the legal right to contest its validity. Justice Omotoso highlighted overwhelming evidence indicating Shaibu’s absence from the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, where the primary was conducted on February 22. Instead, Shaibu was found to have participated in a separate primary held at his residence.

Furthermore, the court ruled that Shaibu had not exhausted internal party mechanisms as required by law before resorting to legal action. Additionally, since Shaibu did not partake in the primary, he had no grounds to demand its cancellation or challenge Ighodalo’s candidacy.

The Edo gubernatorial election is slated for September 24 this year.

Shaibu’s lawsuit sought to prevent the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing Ighodalo as the PDP’s gubernatorial candidate and demanded a fresh primary. Shaibu argued that the Electoral Act 2022 and PDP guidelines were violated during the February 22 primary.


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