A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday dismissed a suit seeking the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress and Osun State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, from the state governorship election scheduled for Saturday.
Justice Inyang Ekwo dismissed the suit on six grounds that the plaintiff, a chieftain of the APC, Moshood Adeoti, failed to disclose any cause of action.
The judge held that the suit instituted by the former governorship aspirant constituted a gross abuse of court process and that the plaintiff did not exhaust internal mechanism for dispute resolution before rushing to court.
Justice Ekwo upheld the arguments of Olusegun Jolaawo (SAN) that membership of the APC’s National Caretaker Extraordinary and Convention Planning Committee by Oyetola in which the suit is predicated is an ad-hoc body and not the real APC’s National Executive Committee recognised by the party’s constitution.
Adeoti had sought disqualification of the incumbent governor from the governorship poll alongside the party on the ground of failure to follow due process of law during the conduct of the primary election for the nomination of the governorship candidate.
The plaintiff in the originating summons, prayed the court to nullify Oyetola’s candidacy on the grounds that the governor contested in the February 19 primary election as a member of the APC’s National Caretaker Extraordinary and Convention Planning Committee.
Adeoti said the act of Oyetola contravened the provisions of Section 222 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 31(iii) of the APC, October 2014 (as amended).
But the judge held that the CECPC is not same as the office recognised by the APC’s Constitution upon which anybody can be disqualified.
Specifically, Justice Ekwo said that CECPC is a mere ad-hoc body put in place in the absence of the National Executive Committee known to law.
Besides, the Judge agreed that the issue of nomination of candidates for elective offices by political parties is an internal affair of parties which no court can inquire into except where expressly stated by law.
Justice Ekwo wondered why Adeoti resorted to court action after fully participating in the primary election, scored some votes and lost to Oyetola, adding that his action amounted to approbating and reprobating at the same time against the provisions of the law
The Judge said that from the evidence placed before the court and questions raised for determination, the plaintiff did not disclose any cause of action.
Justice Ekwo subsequently dismissed the suit on six grounds.