Supreme Court orders fresh hearing on Ogun PDP guber ticket
The Supreme Court, yesterday, affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, which reversed an earlier judgment of the Federal High Court, in favour of a factional governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Oladipupo Adebutu.
The apex court, in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, affirmed the decision of the appellate court directing the Federal High Court to hear the suit afresh on its merit.
According to Saulawa, “the findings of the court below are, in view, cogent and relevant to this case. Against the backdrop, this appeal is resolved against the appellant. The appeal failed and is, hereby, dismissed.”
The court then affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on October 30, in respect of the matter, which set aside the earlier judgment of the trial court.
The court also affirmed the consequential order of the appellate court, remitting the suit to any other judge of the Federal High Court, apart from Justice Taiwo Taiwo.
Saulawa said the trial judge ought to have taken the substantive matter and the preliminary objection at the same time, since it is a pre-election matter, which is time bound.
He added that the court has the duty to protect the honour and integrity of the judiciary.
A three-member panel of justices held that the trial judge, Taiwo Taiwo, was wrong to have declined jurisdiction to entertain a suit by Jimi Adebisi Lawal, wherein he challenged PDP’s utilisation of a delegates’ list in conduct of the governorship primary election on May 25, 2022, as against the list of delegates, who were democratically elected for that purpose at ward congress.
Delivering the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal, Justice Biobele Georgewill held that the issue in the case is pre-election related, over which the Federal High Court has jurisdiction, and proceeded to make an order remitting the case to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for hearing of the case on its merit.