2023: S’Court Affirms Agboola Ajayi As PDP Candidate for Ondo South
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal filed by the Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Nicholas Tofowomo against a former Deputy Governor of Ondo State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Ondo South Senatorial District, Hon. Alfred Agboola Ajayi.
In a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, the apex Court threw out the appeal on the basis that the case is statute-barred and that the cause of action has been overtaken by event.
Tofowomo had filed the appeal against the Judgment of the Court of Appeal, Akure Judicial Division which upheld the decision of the lower court affirming the candidature of Agboola as the candidate of the party for Ondo South senatorial district.
The Appellate Court presided over by Justice Ayobode Olujimi Lokulo-Sodipe dismissed the appeal filed by Tofowomo against the verdict of the Federal High Court that affirmed Ajayi as the candidate of the party for failure to file the case within the legally stipulated time.
Lokulo-Sodipe in his verdict affirmed the judgment of Justice Rilwanu Aikawa of the Federal High Court that dismissed the suit filed by Tofowomo challenging the emergence of Ajayi as the candidate of the PDP.
Tofowomo who scored 74 in the primary election was defeated by Ajayi who polled 78 in the keenly contested PDP primary to represent the South senatorial district.
The Court of Appeal held that by Exhibit FEE2 attached to the Appellant’s affidavit at the trial court, the Plaintiff/Appellant’s time began to run from the June, 9 2022 or June, 13 2022 based on Exhibits AA4 and PDP3 when the acts complained of by the Appellant against the 1st Respondent occurred or took place and as such the case of the appellant is statute barred having filed the case on the 5th of July, 2022, that is 27 or 23 days after the alleged occurrence of the act complained of and 13 or 10 days after the expiration of the constitutional allowance of 14 days. The Court of Appeal affirmed the Judgment of the trial court dismissing the Appellant’s case for being statute barred.
Dissatisfied by the decision of the Court of Appeal dismissing his appeal against Agboola Ajayi, the Senator appealed the judgment at the Supreme Court.
However, in a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal on the basis that the case is statute-barred as the cause of action accrued on the date the form was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and fined Senator Nicholas Tofowomo N500,000