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Osun APC primary: Gboyega Oyetola appeals court ruling nullifying his candidacy

Osun APC primary: Gboyega Oyetola appeals court ruling nullifying his candidacy

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, yesterday, appealed the Federal High Court judgement that nullified his nomination as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the July 16, 2022, governorship election in the state.

The governor and his deputy have also applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking to stay the execution of the court judgment pending the final determination of the appeal.

Oyetola, in a statement by his spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan noted that Justice Emeka Nwite of the FHC, Abuja, had while delivering a ruling in the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, invalidated the candidacy of Oyetola and his deputy, Benedict Alabi, because 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 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

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Oyetola and Alabi, in an appeal filed by the APC through their counsels, Dr Abiodun Layonu (SAN) and Abdulfatai Oyedele, listed 19 grounds of appeal against the lower court judgment.

According to them, the decision of the Federal High Court was against the weight of evidence and constitutes a grave miscarriage of justice. They, therefore, asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the ruling of the lower court and affirm their nominations as valid and lawful.

In the appeal, the governor and his deputy argued that all the actions taken by Governor Buni in respect of their nominations were valid and legally cognizable as they complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.

The appellants noted that the setting up of the defunct Caretaker Committee/Extra-ordinary Planning Committee, CCEPC, by the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party did not violate the provision of the Constitution and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

The statement reads: “By the provision of Section 84(14) of the Electoral Act 2022, it is only an aspirant that participated in the primary election that can complain that the provision of the Electoral Act and the guidelines of the political party have not been complied with in the selection or nomination of candidate of a political party for an election.

“The nomination and sponsorship of candidates of a political party is strictly an internal affair of a political party which is not justiciable. The 1st respondent (the PDP) therefore lacks the locus standi to bring any cause of action that relates to internal affairs of the appellant (APC).”

Another ground of appeal, filed by the appellant, was that the suit initiated by the PDP had been caught by the Issue of Estoppel which indicates that where an issue has been decided by a competent court, the court will not allow it to be re-litigated by different parties.

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