Court joins Oyetola, Alabi in suit on Osun APC primary
A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday granted the request of Osun State Governor-elect Gboyega Oyetola and his deputy, Benedict Alabi, to be joined as defendants in a suit challenging the outcome of the last governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Justice I. E. Ekwo granted the application filed by Oyetola and Alabi through their lawyer, Bankole Komolafe.
Komolafe drew the court’s attention to his clients’ application when the case was called yesterday.
Lawyers to other parties in the suit did not oppose the application, which the judge granted.
He adjourned till December 13 for hearing.
The suit was filed by Kunle Rasheed Adegoke, an aggrieved former governorship aspirant of the APC in Osun State.
Adegoke prayed the court to nullify the APC primary, which produced Isiaka as the party’s candidate, citing alleged irregularities.
The APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were the only defendants in the matter.
Adegoke is contending that the conduct of APC’s primary in Osun State violated the nation’s Constitution, the Electoral Act, 2010 and relevant provisions of the APC constitution, including the Regulation for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries of the INEC.
He said, in a supporting affidavit, that the “direct method” adopted by the party, which allowed all members to vote in the primary “was a departure from the extant 2014 guidelines of the party”.
The plaintiff stated that contrary to the development in Osun State, “the indirect method of primary was used in Edo State in 2016, Ondo State in 2016, Anambra State in 2017 and Ekiti State in May 2018”.
He added that he had, in an open letter, challenged the party’s National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, informing him that there was no membership register of the party by which the party could conduct a credible direct primary.
Adegoke also said he informed Oshiomhole that the adoption of direct primary without a membership register would be in flagrant violation of the constitution of the party due to the time of its adoption vis-à-vis the general requirements of the law.
The plaintiff said APC failed to notify him as an aspirant or the INEC, in writing, not later than 21 days to the date of the primary, with the details, including the specific location and venue, date and time for the conduct of its nomination of candidate before holding same on the July 20.
He said APC also failed to notify INEC in writing “the rescheduling of the purported primary from Wednesday, July 18 to Friday, July 20”.
Adegoke said the party also failed to maintain “a proper and duly certified membership register for the purpose of conducting a direct method of primary”.
toral Act, and the other cited laws, rules and regulations of the party and INEC.