Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
A Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, yesterday struck out a suit filed by the Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, against the All Progressives Congress (APC), for excluding his name from the list of gubernatorial aspirants in 2019 general elections over his inability to present his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.
The APC had refused to allow Shittu to participate in the Oyo State gubernatorial primary because he failed to take part in the NYSC scheme after his graduation from the university.
The trial judge, Justice P. I. Ajoku, while dismissing the suit, said Shittu did not file the case within the time stipulated by law.
She said, “I must first consider the provision of Section 285 of the Constitution that makes it mandatory for all pre-election matters to be filed within 14 days of occurrence.
“This particular case was not filed within 14 days, but outside the date. Therefore, I will not bother going into the merit of the case.
“Having failed to satisfy the dictates of the constitution, the matter is hereby, struck out.”
The defence counsel, Mr. Adebayo Ojo, in his reaction, said the law had taken its due course.
“The judge acted by the 1999 Constitution and it is a victory for democracy”, the former Oyo state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice said.
Counsel to Shittu, Mr. Abdulhakeem Mustafa, (SAN), had tendered a 38 paragraph affidavit and 13 exhibits to support his claims with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He prayed the court to determine whether the action of his party to omit his name in the list of gubernatorial aspirants was lawful or a contravention of the constitution.