Court Dismisses Suit Seeking Disqualification Of Oyetola As APC Governorship Candidate In Osun
Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by former Secretary to the Osun State Government, Moshood Adeoti, seeking to void the nomination of Governor Gboyega Oyetola as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Saturday’s governorship election.
Adeoti had claimed that Oyetola violated the provision of Article 31 (3) of the APC construction by allegedly not resigning his membership of the Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) 30 days before the party’s primary from which Oyetola emerged as the candidate of the APC.
In a judgment on Thursday, Justice Inyang Ekwo held among others, that the suit was an abuse of court process because it disclosed no cause of action.
Justice Ekwo noted that the subject matter of the suit falls outside the scope of Section 285(14) of the Constitution and Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act and therefore the case did not qualify as a pre-election matter.
Justice Ekwo held that the suit falls within the internal affairs of the party on which the court could not intervene.
The judge also held that the suit was premature because Adeoti failed to exhaust the internal dispute resolution mechanisms of the APC before approaching the court.
He further held that the creation of the CECPC was a decision of the APC as an ad-hoc measure and that, holding a position in it did not amount to occupying a party office for which officials are elected.
The judge added that Oyetola’s membership of the CECPC did qualify him as holding any office in the party, which is recognized by the APC’s constitution.
Justice Ekwo held that Adeoti ought to have challenged the setting up of the CECPC by the APC, and that have participated in the primary conducted by it, he could no longer turn around to challenge the outcome of the primary.