The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal filed by a faction loyal to a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Dan Orbih, over the authentic delegate list for the selection of candidates in the 2023 general election in Edo State.
The apex court in a unanimous decision dismissed the appeal on the grounds that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the appeal.
The Adhoc Delegate Committee members loyal to Orbih, had approached the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal against them.
Recall that the appellate court had set aside the decision of the Federal High Court recognizing the Adhoc Delegate Committee list of the Orbih faction, on the grounds that the trial court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit in the first place.
The appellants (Monday Osagie and others) in their appeal specifically asked the apex court to nullify the decision of the Court of Appeal and restore the judgment of the trial court which recognized them as the authentic Adhoc delegates for the selection of candidates for the National and State House of Assemblies elections slated for next year.
However, in their unanimous judgment, the apex court dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
The five man panel led by Justice Amina Augie agreed with the decision of the Court of Appeal that courts lacked the powers to interfere in the internal matters of political parties.
The apex court, further held that the appellants lacked the legal rights to approach court over the delegate list since they were not aspirant in the forthcoming election.
According to the judgment, only aspirants to an elective office can approach the court to seek redress over any alleged abnormalities or illegality concerning the conduct of a primary election as in the instant case.
“I hold that the Court of Appeal correctly held that the matter is an intra party affairs. It is not justiciable and not within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.
” On the whole, the appeal fails and it is accordingly dismissed”, Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the judgment held”.