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Osun guber: Court dismisses suit challenging Oyetola’s candidacy

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has struck out a suit seeking the disqualification of Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, as candidate of…

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has struck out a suit seeking the disqualification of Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Saturday’s governorship election.

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, had sued the APC, Oyetola and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Adeoti accused the governor of unlawfully contesting the primaries while holding position as member of the Caretaker Extraordinary and Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).

Adeoti, who was one of the aspirants in the party, argued that the APC violated Section 22(2) of the 1999 Constitution(as amended) and Article 31(iii) of the APC, October 2014 (as amended), by allowing Oyetola to run while being a member of the committee.

The plaintiff, through his counsel, Chiesonu Okpoko SAN, contended that Oyetola should have resigned from that committee, 30 days before the primary election on February 19.

But the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission had entered preliminary objections on many grounds.

The party argued that the plaintiff’s originating process was incompetent because there was no law backing it.

It said that the court lacked jurisdiction to determine the suit as it is a matter of the internal affairs of the party.

Delivering the judgment on Thursday, Justice Inyang Ekwo, stated that the plaintiff failed to support the process with relevant laws.

Justice Ekwo said as such, it showed no cause of action in the suit which makes it a gross abuse of court process.

The presiding judge also agreed with the APC that the court could not assume jurisdiction on the matter on the grounds that there was no cause of action for filing the suit.

Ekwo also held that Adeoti, who was also an aspirant in the February 19 APC’s primary poll, in his application, also admitted that he did not exhaust the party’s internal mechanism before filing the suit.

Consequently, the judge dismissed the suit in its entirety for being an abuse of court process.

In the suit, the plaintiff listed the APC, Oyetola, and INEC as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, respectively.