Friday, December 2, 2022

Court nullifies Oyetola’s nomination as APC Osun guber candidate

The court said the decision to forward the names of Mr Oyetola and his deputy governorship candidate amounted to a nullity in law.

• September 30, 2022
Osun State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola (Photo Credit: @GboyegaOyetola)

The nomination of Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the July 16 governorship election has been nullified.

In a judgement on Friday, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja, nullified the nomination of Mr Oyetola and his deputy governorship candidate, Benedict Alabi.

The court ruled that Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, who submitted their names to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), violated the provisions of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had filed the suit against governors Buni and Oyetola and others.

The PDP, through its counsel, Kehinde Ogunwumiju, had on April 7, commenced the suit, challenging the nomination and sponsorship of the APC candidates for the governorship poll, in which PDP’s Ademola Adeleke was declared the winner by INEC.

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

But Mr Ogunwumiju argued that the plaintiff (PDP) rightly commenced the suit under Section 285 (14) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Delivering the judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with the submissions of the PDP counsel and declared as null and void, the nomination of Messrs Oyetola and Alabi by the APC.

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

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

INEC declared the candidate of the PDP, governor-elect Adeleke, the winner of the July 16 Osun governorship election.

The returning officer for the election and Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, announced that Mr Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes to beat Mr Oyetola of the APC, who got 375,027 votes in a keenly contested race.


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