The nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his deputy governorship candidate, Benedict Alabi, as candidates for the All Progressives Congress in the recent governorship election in Osun State was revoked on Friday evening by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
The former APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Mai Mala Buni, submitted their names to the Independent National Electoral Commission in violation of Section 183 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022, the court reasoned in its ruling.
Buni and four other people were brought before the court by the People’s Democratic Party, who was represented by Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), to contest the nomination and sponsorship of Governor Oyetola and his deputy as the lawfully nominated candidates of the APC.
Oyetola’s legal representative, Kunle Adegoke (SAN), contested the suit’s competence on a number of grounds, including that the plaintiff lacked the right to bring the action and that the statute of limitations had expired.
To the contrary, Ogunwumiju (SAN) argued that the plaintiff had legitimately brought the lawsuit under Section 285(14)(c) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 Constitution, with the support of O.M. Atoyebi (SAN) and Ademola Abimbola (as amended).
In his ruling, Justice Emeka Nwite concurred with the plaintiff’s attorney’s arguments and ordered the APC’s nomination of Oyetola and Alabi to be invalid.
Ismail Omipidan, the state governor’s chief press secretary, has meantime urged Oyetola’s supporters to maintain their composure in the wake of a Federal High Court ruling that invalidated his candidacy in the July 16 governorship election.
He said, “For the records, the position of the law is that only members of the APC who participated in the primary election can approach the court to challenge the nomination of Oyetola as the candidate of the party.”
“All these are part of the antics of the opposition PDP and some of their collaborators from within to distract us. But like every one of their plans, this too has fallen flat on their faces.”