Ondo 2024: Court Issues Fresh Order Over APC Primary

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State and others to file their defence in a suit instituted by Jimoh Ibrahim, a senator, seeking to void the 20 April All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in the state.

The judge, Inyang Ekwo, gave the directive after the counsel for the APC, Tayo Oyetibo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), informed the court that the party had written a letter to the Chief Judge of Federal High Court, John Tsoho, for the matter to be transferred to the Akure division of the court.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/588/2024, Mr Ibrahim sued APC, Mr Aiyedatiwa and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Ondo State governorship election, in which other political parties, will field candidates, is slated to hold on 16 November.

Ibrahim’s grouse, prayers;

Mr Ibrahim, an aspirant in the primaries and serving senator representing Ondo South at the Senate, is praying the court to set aside the 20 April governorship primary election of the party that produced Governor Aiyedatiwa as its candidate.

He urged the court to declare that Mr Aiyedatiwa is not the valid candidate of the APC by virtue of the party’s non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the regulations and guidelines of the political party in the conduct of the poll.

He, therefore, sought an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the governor from parading himself as the APC’s governorship candidate for the November general election in Ondo State.

Mr Ibrahim, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs, equally prayed the court for a mandatory injunction compelling INEC to delist the names of APC and Mr Aiyedatiwa from amongst the list of political parties and governorship candidates for the state’s governorship election.

He further asked the court to strip the party and Mr Aiyedatiwa “of all rights appurtenant to political parties fielding candidates, and candidates at the said governorship election, except a fresh primary election is conducted and a candidate lawfully nominated.”

Hearing;

At Tuesday’s hearing, Mr Ibrahim’s lawyer, Chris Uche, a SAN, told the court that he received a memorandum of conditional appearance from APC’s lawyer.

Mr Uche said he had equally received a memorandum of conditional appearance from INEC but had not received any application from Mr Aiyedatiwa.

The senior lawyer said besides all these, the defendants had not filed any defence in the suit.

Mr Oyetibo confirmed filing a memorandum of conditional appearance, which was served on the plaintiff.

He said since the plaintiff served on them their processes on 7 May, he was still within time to respond.

The senior lawyer, who wondered why Mr Ibrahim filed the suit in Abuja, told the court that a letter had been written to the Chief Judge, Mr Tsoho, seeking for the transfer of the matter to Akure division of the court.

He said they were awaiting the Chief Judge’s response.

Counsel for the governor, Bode Olanipekun, also a SAN, said though they were served on 9 May, they were still within time to respond.

He confirmed Mr Oyetibo’s position about the letter to the Chief Judge.

INEC’s lawyer, Charles Edosomwan, also a SAN, who said he was still within time to file his client’s response, said he was aware of the APC’s letter to have the matter transferred.

But Mr Uche said writing a letter was a non-issue as the letter was not before the court.

Mr Ekwo said the issue of the letter cannot be discussed in the court since the letter was not before him.

The judge held that what was before him was what he was concerned about.

“Taking into consideration the time for parties to file and respond, I will give you a time of return date and from there, we will get further directive,” he said.

Mr Ekwo, who directed parties to file their applications, adjourned the suit until 29 May for mention.

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One thought on “Ondo 2024: Court Issues Fresh Order Over APC Primary

  • May 16, 2024 at 10:30 pm
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    What exactly is the constitutional responsibility of electoral umpire in Nigeria of today?As a matter of fact, election of all kinds are expected to be conducted by the body saddled with the responsibilities on agreement in lieu of this public unconstitutional Imbroglio.Court has always be part of Nigerian ballots decision maker.I think it’s absolutely a high time the practice underwent a moral suitable idea.Nemo judex in causa sua.Ibojo Ojo Nelson

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