BREAKING: Edo PDP primaries: Details of Appeal Court judgement granting victory to Governor Obaseki emerges [Judgement and CTC]

BREAKING: Edo PDP primaries: Details of Appeal Court judgement granting victory to Governor Obaseki emerges [Judgement and CTC]

In this article provides certified true copies (CTC) of the Court of Appeal judgement that gave Governor Godwin Obaseki victory as well as Edo PDP Delegates victory over the charade being orchestrated by Orbih and Ogbeide-Ihama.  

See pages 12- 15 of CTC at end of article.

As usual, we have provided our esteemed readers the text most relevant to the story and delivered by the judge below: 

The second aspect of jurisdiction in contention is the subject matter. I
have earlier stated the reliefs sought by the 1-4 respondents at the lower
court. None of the reliefs relates to allege breach of the party guidelines or the
constitution of the party or the Electoral Act. The 1 respondents sought a declaration and an injunctive relief to compel the party to recognise them as the only ad-hoc delegates of the 5h respondent in Edo State and to compel and direct the party to allow only the 1-4 respondents as the ad-hoc
delegates of the party in Edo State for the purpose of voting at all the
congresses and convention of the party. 

In our view this is clearly a decision
that can only be made by the party. The court has no power to impose an ad-hoc delegate on a political party. The issue of who should be an ad- hoc
delegate is a domestic affair of the party. See the unreported decision of the Supreme Court in PDP v.CHIEF J.0.0GWULEGBO & 64 ORS delivered on 11th of April, 2022 where the Supreme Court Per Ogunwumiju, ISC held that:
"This appeal was brought by members of the political party against some
administrative actions of some party functionaries who deprived them of
nomination forms to contest for ward and local government congresses
of the party. It is clear that these are not a complaint against the party
for non-compliance with party guidelines or the Electoral Act in the
selection or nomination of the party's candidate for election by the
general public to be conducted by the INEC. More importantly, unlike in
APC V. UMAR there was no violation of the party's guideline in selecting
party delegate who would vote at primaries to choose the candidates of
the party at the next general election.

Rather than the elastic interpretation given to Section 285 (14) in APC v. UMAR, I Would prefer a narrower interpretation of the provision which accords more with the letters of the Constitution. The Courts particularly this Court cannot be an all comers Court of a pot pourri of all litigations including the banal, the serious and the impactful. The cause of action is one in which the trial Court as it rightly held had no jurisdiction."APC v. UMAR
has been distinguished from the facts of this case. A political party is
supreme over its own affairs since it is an organization which its
members join voluntarily."

Secondly, I have earlier stated the provision of Section 84 (14) of the
Electoral Act, 2022. The words of Section 84(7) of the Electoral Act are clear and unambiguous. For a party to approach the court to seek redress for a grievance in respect of a process or conduct of a political party primary for
nomination of a candidate to contest an election, he must show the following

1) that he is an aspirant seeking nomination or interested in being nominated as a candidate 2) that he participated in the primary election by which a candidate is nominated 3) that he has a grievance about the process leading to the nomination. That is, he must be an aspirant seeking nomination to contest an election into a political office. See Section 152 of the Electoral Act, 2022 which defines an "aspirant" as "a person who aspires or seeks or strives to contest an election to a political office". See also PDP &ANOR. V. SYLVIA &
ORS. (2012) LPELR-7814 (SC) AT 37 (A-C) where the Supreme Court held as

"An aspirant is a person with a strong desire to achieve a position or
importance or to win a competition. Indeed Section 87 (1) of the
Electoral Act States that: "A political party seeking to nominate
candidates for elections under this Act shall hold primaries for aspirants
to all elective posts." From the above it is clear that an aspirant is a
person who contested the primaries. An aspirant is thus a candidate in
the primaries."

See also ARDO V. NYAKO (2014) LPELR- 22878(SC) AT 32 (A-B). In the
instant case the 1 4h respondents counsel agreed that the 1" 4
respondents are not aspirants within the meaning of section 84 (14)of the Actand as defined by the Act itself and the case law. Thus, the 1-4
respondents have failed the first condition that gives a person the locus standi to approach the court to seek redress for his grievance in respect of a process leading to nomination of a candidate. The respondents who are not aspirants but claim to be mere ad hoc delegates have no locus standi to institute this

The jurisdiction of the court to intervene in the process of nomination of a candidate by a political is very narrow and only within the provision of
SECTION 84 (14) of the Electoral Act. t is an established fundamental
principle that while a Judge can expound his jurisdiction, he cannot expand same beyond the limit imposed by law. Itis our view that the relefs sought by the 1 4 respondents are outside the window of section 84 (14) Therefore the State High Court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate on the 1-4 respondents" claim.

Based on the forcgoing, this appeal sucreeds. It is hercby allowed. The
judigment of the High Court of Edo State in Suit No. B/408/2022 delivered
on18/5/22 is hereby set aside. The Suit No. B/408/22 instituted at the lower court is hereby struck out for lack of jurisdiction. Parties shall bear their own costs of this appeal.


Like we earlier stated, going by this judgment, the Court has given powers to the national leadership of the PDP to determine the true delegates from the congress.

The national leadership overtime has since recognized the ad-hoc delegates list of His Excellency, Mr Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki. This victory puts to rest all other judgements on this matter as it is a higher court and its judgement supercedes the judgements of High courts whether in Benin or Abuja.

Going by previous judgements of the Supreme Court, this judgement of the Appeal Court will stand. This is landslide victory for the political reformer in Edo State, Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki who has reformed the political climate by emplacing power in the hands of the people instead of selfish leaders. 

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