Court Nullifies Oyetola’s Nomination As Osun APC Governorship Candidate

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has nullified the nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his Deputy Governorship candidate, Benedict Alabi, as ruling All Progressives Congress governorship ticket holders in the July 16 election.

Oyetola, who lost his re-election, had scored 222,169 votes to defeat his closest rival, Moshood Adeoti, the preferred candidate of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who scored 12,921 votes during the primary.

He had won in all the 30 Local Government Areas of the state in the direct primary election conducted by the Mai Mala Buni APC Caretaker committee.

Delivering judgement on Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Emeka Nwite ruled that Buni who submitted their names to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

A senior lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju, SAN had in a suit with No: FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022 between the PDP v Governor Mai Mala Buni & 4 Ors challenged the nomination and sponsorship of Oyetola and his deputy as the duly nominated candidates of the ruling party.

In challenging the competence of the suit, Kunle Adegoke (SAN) who represented the governor contended, amongst other grounds that the plaintiff did not have the locus to commence the action and that the suit was statute-barred.

In arguing to the contrary, Ogunwumiju leading O.M Atoyebi, SAN and Ademola Abimbola submitted that he rightly commenced the suit under Section 285(14) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

In its judgment, Justice Nwite agreed with the submissions of the plaintiff’s counsel and declared as null and void, the nomination of Oyetola and Alabi by the APC.

The court also held that Buni acted in contravention of the provision of Section 183 of the Constitution when he held dual executive positions as the Governor of Yobe State and the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of APC.

The court held that the steps or decisions taken by Buni, including forwarding the names of Oyetola and Alabi to INEC, amounted to a nullity in law.

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