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Osun 2022: Appeal Court validates Oyetola’s nomination, dismisses PDP’s case

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has affirmed the candidature and nomination of Gboyega Oyetola as the governorship candidate of APC in the July 16 polls in Osun.

 

The court set aside the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja, delivered by Justice Emeka Nwite, nullifying the nomination of Mr Oyetola and his deputy, Benedict Alabi, as the APC candidates.

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had on September 30 nullified the nomination of Messrs Oyetola and Alabi.

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The nullification was on the grounds that Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, who submitted their name to INEC, violated section 183 of the constitution and section 82 (3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

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

The PDP, through its counsel, Kehinde Ogunwumiju, had in the suit dragged Mr Buni and four others before the court, challenging the nomination and sponsorship of Mr Oyetola and his running mate as the duly nominated candidates of the APC.

But the Appeal Court in Abuja, on Friday, in appeal no CA/ABJ/CV/1099/2022 between Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola & Anor v PDP & Ors, authenticated the nomination of the duo.

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In allowing the appeal filed by Mr Oyetola and his party, APC, the Court of Appeal held that the outcome of a governorship primary is a collective decision of a party through its congress.

It said the constitutional challenge or deformity of any party officials could not render it illegal.

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The court, therefore, held that notwithstanding the defects in the letter forwarding the nomination and sponsorship of Mr Oyetola and his running mate to INEC, the fact that they emerged from a valid primary cannot be ruled out.

It maintained that the defect of Mr Buni signing the letter conveying the nomination of the appellants could not be a ground to reject the results and desire of the party’s primary election.

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Regarding the immunity of Mr Buni, who submitted the nomination of the appellants to INEC, the court equally held that he could not be sued because the immunity he enjoyed protected him against civil and criminal suits.

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The court questioned Mr Nwite for failing to consider a classical precedent judgement delivered by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in Jegede v INEC before he arrived at his judgement.

It also awarded the cost of N200,000 in favour of the appellants.

(NAN)

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