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2023: Why Tinubu, Other APC Candidates May Be Disqualified From Participating In Election

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There are fears that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu may be disqualified from participating in the 2023 elections.

Not only Tinubu, but it is also understood that other candidates of the party including the Ekiti State Governor-elect, Abiodun Oyebanji may be affected.

The fear stems from the Friday ruling by Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which nullified the nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his running mate, Benedict Alabi, as APC candidates for the 2022 Osun State governorship election.

Recall their candidature was nullified on the ground that Governor Mai Mala Buni 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.

2023: Tinubu, Other APC Candidates May Be Disqualified From Participating In Election

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had filed the suit against Governor Buni, Governor Oyetola and others.

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The provisions of Section 183 read in part: “The Governor, shall not, during the period he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever.”

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Based on this, some political observers are of the opinion that all actions of Buni while in office as the APC caretaker National Chairman may be invalidated.

Some of the actions include the signing of the nomination of Ekiti governor-elect Abiodun Oyebanji, as APC candidate for the June 18, 2022 poll in the state, and the conduct of the party’s elective national convention which produced the current NWC.

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The development may also lead to the disqualification of all APC candidates for the 2023 poll who emerged from the primaries conducted by the Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee heralded by the Buni leadership of the party.

Should the court order lead to the invalidation of the actions of the NWC due to the involvement of Buni, then all candidates produced and other actions would be deemed null and void.

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But the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Barrister Felix Morka ruled out any such happening, stating that the judgement of the high court does not hold water.

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He told Sunday Tribune that the party is very confident the Court of Appeal will set aside the ruling of the lower court on the matter.

He said: ”The judgment of the Court is unsupportable. We are confident that the Court of Appeal will upturn the judgment. 

“It isn’t supportable by fact of law. What the Governor Buni Caretaker did was ratified by Convention, which is the highest organ of the Party. The Court didn’t avert itself to the fact of the matter.

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“So, there is nothing to worry about. That decision will be challenged and we are confident that the Court of Appeal will upturn it.”

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