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Court to deliver judgment on Ogun PDP crisis December




A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday has fixed December 1 for judgment in the legal battle on the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State. Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date after taking arguments from parties embroiled in the legal battle on the disputed ticket.

At the centre of the dispute were Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal and Oladipupo Adebutu, both governorship aspirants of the PDP and laying claim and counterclaim to the ticket. Jimi Lawal who contested the May 25 governorship primary election of PDP had challenged the emergence of Oladipupo Adebutu alleging that an unlawful and invalid delegates list was fraudulently used by PDP to conduct the election.

Among others, Lawal had prayed that the purported primary election of May 25 is cancelled and another one be conducted with the authentic Adhoc delegates. However, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in his judgment delivered on July 29 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.

The Supreme Court had, however, on November 21 ordered the Federal High Court to hear on merit, the suit instituted against PDP and Adebutu by Jimi Adebisi Lawal. Justice Ibrahim Saulawa of the Apex Court ordered a speedy hearing of the suit after holding that the Federal High Court has jurisdiction to entertain the case.

During proceedings on Thursday, Justice Ekwo, in compliance with the Supreme Court order, heard the case expeditiously in view of the fact that the case would lapse by December 2. The Judge said that he would do everything humanly possible to deliver judgment in the suit on December 1.

At the proceedings, Kanu Agabi, SAN with Ola Olanipekun, SAN stood for Jimmy Lawal as the plaintiff while Chief Chris Uche, SAN argued for PDP and Oladipupo Adebutu. While Agabi prayed the court to grant the request of his client, Uche opposed the request and urged the court to dismiss the case on three grounds.

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