Court Declares Oyetola’s Nomination As Osun APC Governorship Candidate Null And Void

The nomination of Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the July 16 governorship election was declared null and void by a Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday.

The court also nullified the nomination of his Deputy Governorship candidate, Benedict Alabi.

Their candidature was declared null and void on the grounds that Governor Mai Mala Buni, who submitted their names to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), violated Section 183 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

The suit was launched by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Governor Buni, Governor Oyetola, and others.

The PDP through its counsel Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), had on 7th April 2022, commenced a suit with No: FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022 Between PDP v Governor Mai Mala Buni & 4 Ors. at the Federal High Court challenging the nomination and sponsorship of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his deputy as the duly nominated candidates of the APC.

Challenging the competence of the suit, Kunle Adegoke, SAN ,who represented Governor Isiaka Oyetola contended, amongst other grounds that the Plaintiff did not have the locus to commence the action and that the suit was statute-barred.

But Kehinde Ogunwumiju submitted that the Plaintiff rightly commenced the suit under Section 285(14) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Ruling on the case, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court agreed with the submissions of the Plaintiff’s counsel and declared as null and void, the nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and Benedict Alabi by the APC.

The court also ruled that Mai Mala Buni violated Section 183 of the Constitution by holding dual executive positions as Governor of Yobe State and Chairman of the APC National Caretaker Committee.

The court ruled that Governor Mai Mala Buni’s actions or decisions, including forwarding the names of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and Benedict Alabi to INEC, amounted to a nullity in law.

Ada Peter
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