Court slates Nov 20 to conclude hearing in suit against Akeredolu’s candidacy

The Federal High Court sitting, in Abuja, on Tuesday, fixed November 20, 2020, to hear the concluding phase of a suit filed by a governorship aspirant in Ondo State, Dr Nath Adojutelegan, challenging the validity of the primary election that produced Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as the candidate of the All Progressives Congres (APC) in the October 2020 governorship election held in the state.

The trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang, said a date for judgment will be fixed after the conclusion of the hearing of the suit.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, the court was informed of the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to serve a counter-affidavit on other parties to the suit.

The Court then, directed INEC’s counsel, Abdulaziz Sani, to ensure the service of the counter-affidavit on the other parties within 48 hours.

Justice Abang also informed the counsel representing the other parties that they could reply to the counter-affidavit if they so wish.

The suit was filed on August 3, 2020, by Adojutelgan, who along with others, lost the APC primary election to Akeredolu.

Not satisfied with the outcome of the primary election, the plaintiff on August 3, 2020, filed the suit numbered, FHC/ABJ/CS/886/2020, alleging that the exercise was marred by a grave and substantial noncompliance with the constitution of the APC, Electoral Guidelines and the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), which he said, affected the outcome of the primary election.

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The plaintiff specifically alleged that the delegates’ list used for the primary election violated section 87(7) and (8) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), Article 20 (iii) and (iv) (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the APC Constitution 2014 (as amended) and Electoral Guidelines.

According to him, the list was unlawful and invalid on the grounds that it was filled with the names of principal officers of the wards, local governments, and state executive committees of the party in Ondo State, none of whom was democratically elected to be delegates at the primary as prescribed by the laws and regulations cited.

He prayed the court to make an order nullifying the nomination of Akeredolu as the party’s candidate in the October 10, 2020 governorship election in the state and also urged that Akeredolu should not be allowed to gain from his alleged wrongdoings regarding the governorship primary election, for an order nullifying the exercise and order a fresh primary from which the governor should not be allowed to participate in.

Joined as first to third defendants in the suit are the APC, Akeredolu, and INEC.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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