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Osun: Court nullifies nomination of Oyetola, deputy as APC candidate

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday nullified the nomination of Gov. Isiaka Oyetola and his deputy governor candidate Benedict Alabi as the candidates for the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the last Gubernatorial election in Osun state.

The court reasoned was that Governor Mai Mala Buni, who submitted his name to INEC, had violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82(3) of the 2022 Elections Act.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through its counsel, Kehinde Ogunwumiju had in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022 dragged Governor Mai Mala Buni and four  others before the court challenging the nomination and sponsorship of Governor Oyetola and his deputy as the duly nominated candidates of the APC.

Kunle Adegoke (SAN), counsel to Gov. Oyetola which contested the jurisdiction of the lawsuit, argued, among other things, that plaintiffs had no power to sue and that the lawsuit was statute of limitations.

In arguing to the contrary,  Ogunwumiju (SAN), leading O.M. Atoyebi (SAN) and Ademola Abimbola, submitted that the plaintiff rightly commenced the suit under Section 285(14) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

In its judgement, Justice Emeka Nwite agreed with the submissions of the plaintiff’s counsel and declared as null and void, the nomination of Oyetola and Alabi by the APC.

The court also held that Governor Mai Mala Buni acted in contravention of the provision of Section 183 of the Constitution when he held dual executive positions as the Governor of Yobe State and the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of APC.

The court held that the steps or decisions taken by Buni, including forwarding the names of Oyetola and Alabi to INEC, amounted to a nullity in law.

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