Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
A Federal High Court sitting in Akure, has struck out the suit challenging the eligibility of the Accord Governorship Candidate in Oyo state, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, to contest the 2023 governorship election.
The suit with number FHC/IB/CS/163/2022 was instituted by Okikiolu Folorunsho Adebolu, and three others against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Accord and Chief Bayo Adelabu, on October 17, 2022.
The claimants sought to move the court to declare that the former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was not a member of Accord as at the time he was nominated as the gubernatorial candidate of the party.
However, Adelabu and Accord through their Counsels, Mr. Olamiji Martins and Mr. Adedayo Aborisade, had filed a preliminary objection, maintaining that the matter was statute barred having being filed outside the 14 days purview provided by the 2022 Electoral Act.
It was also contended that the plaintiffs lack the locus to sue as they were not gubernatorial aspirants under Accord but that the first plaintiff was an aspirant for the House of Assembly seat of Ibadan South East Constituency 2.
The court presided over by Justice Demi Ajayi, in its ruling, noted that since Adenolu, the first plaintiff, had withdrew his case against the person he contested the House of Assembly seat with, he lacks the locus to challenge Adelabu’s gubernatorial candidature.
It also dismissed the suit on the ground that the suit was filed outside the 14 days requirement for the institution of pre-election matters under the Electoral Act 2022.
It would be recalled that Adelabu was affirmed the gubernatorial candidate of Accord after he left the All Progressives Congress (APC) on August 3, 2022.
Counsel to Adelabu and Accord, Olamiji and Aborisade respectively, in their reaction to the judgment, lauded the judge over his vast knowledge of the law.