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Ondo gov’ship: Court dismisses suit against Akeredolu

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit challenging the validity of the primary election

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit challenging the validity of the primary election that produced Governor Rotimi Akeredolu as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, on Wednesday, held that the suit instituted by one Mrs. Olajumoke Anifowose, was statute-barred having been filed outside the 14 days allowed by law for a pre-election matter.

Anifowose, in the suit filed on her behalf by her counsel, Adesina Oke, had contended that the primary election which produced Akeredolu violated Section 87 of the Electoral Act and Article 20 of the APC constitution and other relevant election guidelines.

But Justice Ekwo upheld the preliminary objection against the suit by Akeredolu and APC that the court action was grossly incompetent since it was not filed within 14 days as required by law and by that, that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain it.

Although Justice Ekwo noted that Akeredolu was nominated by APC on July 20th, and Anifowose filed the suit on July 29, which fell within 14 days stipulated by law, the suit, however, became incompetent due to the withdrawal of the initial originating summon and its substitution on August 20 by the plaintiff.

The court held that the substitution of the second originating summon was done outside 14 days required by law, and therefore became an invalid suit by the provision of Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution.