The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed an appeal instituted at the Apex Court by Dan Orbhi-led faction, thereby ending the leadership crisis rocking the Edo chapter of the PDP.
The suit is seeking the court order to authenticate the ad hoc delegate elections conducted by Dan Orbhi’s faction and to invalidate another one conducted by Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s faction.
The Apex Court in a judgment by Justice Emmanuel Agim, held that the issue of leadership by political parties is an internal affair and as such, the courts have no jurisdiction.
In the appeal marked SC/CV/979/2022, filed by Monday Osagie, the Supreme Court said that the appeal lacked merit because it is not justiciable.
Agim who delivered the unanimous judgment asked political parties to always adhere strictly to their guidelines, rules and regulations in order to promote genuine democracy.
Obaseki and a Chieftain of the PDP and Orbhi have been on each other’s throats on who controls the party in the state.
The governor, formerly of the All Progressives Congress APC defected to PDP, contested for the last governorship election on the party platform and won.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Wednesday, a Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to recognise and publish the names of candidates produced by the Obaseki-led faction of the Edo PDP as standard-bearers of the party in the forthcoming 2023 elections.
The plaintiffs include the party’s candidate for Edo South senatorial district, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen; Sunny Aguebor for Oredo federal constituency, and the flag bearer for Akoko Edo federal constituency, Kabiru Adjoto, among others.
The judge noted that based on past decisions by the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, the state chapter of a political party was not empowered by law to conduct party primaries and that only the National Working Committee, NWC, of a political party that has the power to conduct party primaries.
“In my view, the power of INEC under Section 84 of the Electoral Act is limited to monitoring of party primary elections and does not extend to preparing or declaring the results of that election. This remains the law.