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Why Court nullified governor Oyetola’s nomination as APC Osun gubernatorial candidate

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On Friday, A federal high court in Abuja nullified the nomination of Gboyega Oyetola, the Osun state governor, as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the governorship election in the state. 

 The court annulled the governor’s candidacy and that of Benedict Alabi, his deputy following a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). 

 Justice Emeka Nwite held that Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state who submitted their names to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), violated the provisions of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022. 

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In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022, while PDP is the plaintiff, Gov Buni, Oyetola, and three others are the defendants. 

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 PDP’s lawyer,  Kehinde Ogunwumiju, argued that Mr. Buni who acted in a dual capacity by holding two executive positions had breached the law hence, he urged the court to void the nomination of Oyetola and his deputy.  

 Oyetola’s lawyer in response contended that PDP lacked the legal standing to file a suit against his client since it is not an APC member and only APC was responsible for the nomination processes of its members. 

 He, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss the suit for lacking merit. 

PDP’s lawyer contended that his client commenced the suit pursuant to Section 285(14) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). 

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In his ruling, the presiding judge aligned with the submissions of the plaintiff and declared the nomination of the governor and his deputy null and void. 

 Justice Nwite held that Mr. Buni acted in contravention of the provision of Section 183 of the Constitution when he held dual executive positions as the Governor of Yobe and the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of APC. 

 According to the judge, Buni’s decision including forwarding the names of Oyetola and Alabi to INEC amounted to a nullity in law. 

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