- Judge transfers Segun Oni’s pre-election suit
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State continues facing unending in internal war in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the June 14, 2018 governorship election in the state. After several APC stakeholders in the state thought the suit by former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, challenging the nomination of Fayemi at the APC governorship primary election had been resolved or ought to have been withdrawn after the intervention of APC national Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there is no peace yet for the governor.
The suit took a new turn when Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, washed off his hands from handling the suit seeking to sack Governor Fayemi from office which argues that Fayemi was not eligible to participate in the July 14 governorship election.
In the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/663/18, filed by Segun Oni, who was second in the APC governorship primary election in Ekiti State, Oni argues that Fayemi was not legally qualified to participate in the primary election because he failed to first resign his ministerial appointment in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet.
Fayemi picked the APC governorship ticket at the primary election on May 12, 2018, while he was still the Minister of Mines and Steel Development. The governor formally resigned from the appointment on May 30, 18 days after he had won the APC governorship ticket with 941 votes, while Oni had 481.
National Daily gathered that Oni in the suit contended that Fayemi would have resigned his ministerial appointment at least 30 days to the APC primary election. He requested the court to among other things; determine whether or not Fayemi’s action was not in gross violation of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, as well as APC Guidelines… APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were also included co-defendants in the suit.
On the calling of the suit for hearing on Monday, Justice Quadri stated that he was not disposed to continue with the suit. He remarked that the Chief Judge had granted permission for the case-file to be transferred to Ado-Ekiti for adjudication.
Oni’s counsel, Anthony Adeniyi, had prayed the court to determine, “Whether by virtue of All Progressives Congress constitution and particularly Articles 2 and 5 of All Progressive Congress 2014 Guidelines for the nomination of candidates for public office as applicable to the APC Governorship primaries conducted on the 12th May, 2018, the 1st Defendant being a serving member of the Federal Executive and Federal Minister of Solid Minerals, Mines and Steel Development, having not resigned his appointment as a member of Federal Executive and Minister of Solid Mineral, Mines and Steel Development, at all or at least 30 days to the said primaries election of 12th May, 2018, was qualified to contest and participate in the said All Progressive Congress Governorship primaries of 12th May, 2018 as an aspirant in that election”.
He also sought the determination of “Whether by virtue of All Progressives Congress Constitution and particularly, Articles 2 and 5 of All Progressives Congress 2014 Guidelines for the nomination of candidates for public office as applicable to the A.P.C Governorship primaries conducted on the 12th May, 2018, at Damilek Event Centre, Ado-Ekiti for the purpose of determining or nominating the 2nd Defendant candidate for the 12th July Ekiti State Governorship election, the 1st Defendant having been indicted by Rtd. Hon. Justice Oyewole Judicial Panel of Inquiry was qualified to contest and participate in the said All Progressives Congress Governorship primary of 12th May, 2018 as an aspirant in that election.
“A declaration that the claimant (Oni) having scored 481 votes which is the majority of lawful and valid votes at the 2nd Defendant (APC) the 12th May, 2018 APC Governorship primaries election for the purpose of determining the 2nd Defendant’s candidate for the 14th July 2018 election for the office of Governor Ekiti State is the person that was validly nominated by the 2nd Defendant for the 14th July, 2018 election for the office of Governor, Ekiti State.”
Meanwhile, a new judge is yet to be assigned on the suit.