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#OsunDecides2018: Court turns down request to hear suit during vacation

CourtJUSTICE Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday turned down request to hear the suit filed by a governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Osun State, Kunle Rasheed Adegoke (K. Rad) against the APC and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), during vacation period of the court.

Adegoke had approached the court via an originating summons, praying it to cancel the July 20, 2018 governorship primary election of the Osun state APC over alleged irregularities.

The plaintiff counsel, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN) had requested the court to hear the suit on September 4, 2018, a day that fell within the vacation period of the Federal High Court.

Justice Dimgba, sitting as a vacation Judge turned down the request on the ground that the defendants are still within time to respond, having been served with the process of the court August 8, 2018, as stated by the counsel to the plaintiff.

The Judge held that the respondents should be given another opportunity to appear before the court and further added that the case file will be returned to the Chief Judge of the Court for re-assignment to a regular Judge as the court’s vacation ends today.

The court later adjourned the matter till October 9, 2018.

Adegoke, in his Originating Summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/804/18, signed by his counsel, Ayotunde Ogunleye, is asking the court to determine whether, having regard to the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered), the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Defendant and the Regulation for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries of INEC, the Osun State governorship primary election of APC purportedly held on July 20, 2018 in Osun State is not unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.

He also wants the court to decide whether it ought to nullify the Osun State governorship primary election held on July 20, 2018 in Osun State in flagrant violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered), the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and the relevant provisions of the Constitution of APC, 2014 (as amended) and the Regulation for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries of INEC, same being unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.

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In addition, the plaintiff asked the court to decide whether it ought to restrain the electoral body from giving any recognition to the outcome of the said Osun State governorship primary election of the APC, same having been conducted in violation of the Constitution, the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and the relevant provisions of the party’s Constitution of All Progressives Congress, 2014 and the Regulation for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries of INEC.

The plaintiff is, however, praying the court for a declaration that the Osun State governorship primary election of APC purportedly held July 20, 2018 in Osun State, in flagrant violation of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, the Electoral Act, 2010 and the relevant provisions of the APC Constitution of the conduct of Political Party Primaries of INEC is unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.

He also prays the court to declare that, by the provisions of the Constitution of the party, Article 20(v) thereof, it is ultra vires the 1st Defendant to organize, hold and conduct the governorship primary election held on the 20th July, 2018 in Osun State without Rules and Regulations made by its National Working Committee and duly approved by its National Executive Committee for the purpose of nomination of candidates through primary elections.

In addition, the plaintiff is praying the court for a declaration that, it is unconstitutional for the party to organize and conduct the governorship primary election without a meeting of the National Executive Committee approving Rules and Regulations made by the National Working Committee for the purpose of nomination of candidates through primary elections.

Also, the plaintiff wants the court to declare that the APC in Osun cannot hold and organize the Osun State governorship primary election without having given a prior 21-day notice of its primaries to INEC, indicating that a direct method of primary election shall be used.

He equally wants the court to make an order nullifying the Osun State governorship primary election of the APC held on 20th July, 2018 in Osun State same having been conducted in flagrant violation of the Constitution, the Electoral Act, 2010 and the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the party, 2014 (as amended) and the regulation for the conduct of political party primaries of the INEC.

He wants the court to make an order restraining INEC from according any recognition to the outcome of the said Osun State governorship primary election of the APC, same having been conducted in violation of the Constitution, the Electoral Act and the relevant provisions of the Constitution the party and the Regulation for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries of INEC.

Adegoke wants an order of the Court restraining the Defendants from relying on or using the purported results of the purported Osun State governorship primary election of the APC held on the 20th July, 2018 in Osun State for the purpose of nominating the APC’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming Osun State Governorship election scheduled to hold on September 22, 2018 or any other date as may be appointed by the 2nd Defendant.

Recalled that Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola, the former Chief of Staff to governor Rauf Aregbesola won the primary election of the party, being contested.

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