Court Orders APC, Aiyedatiwa to Defend Suit against Ondo Gubernatorial Primary

Alex Enumah in Abuja

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the All Progressives Congress (APC), to file its defence in a suit seeking the nullification of the April 20, primary election that produced incumbent Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, as its candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.

Beside the APC, Aiyedatiwa and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were also to respond to the suit filed by a governorship aspirant, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim.

The judge’s order was sequel to claim by the APC that it had written a letter to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court requesting for transfer of the case from Abuja to Ondo State.

The court had on May 8, ordered the service of the suit on the governor through substituted means by placing same at the headquarters of the APC in Abuja.

The court further fixed May 14 for hearing since, the APC and INEC, who were 1st and 3rd respondents, had already been served with the court documents.

However, when the matter came up yesterday, plaintiff’s lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, informed the court that while the 1st and 3rd respondents had served him with their memorandum of appearance, the trio were yet to serve him with their defence.

Responding, APC’s lawyer, Chief Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, who observed that he was still within time to respond, informed the court of a letter to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court seeking the transfer of the case to the Akure division of the Federal High Court, since the primary election been contested was held in Akure, Ondo State.

Bode Olanipekun, SAN and Chief Charles Edosanwan, SAN, who represented Aiyedatiwa and INEC respectively aligned themselves with the submissions of Oyetibo.

In a short ruling, Ekwo, who demonstrated willingness to determine the matter expeditiously, ordered the respondents to file their responses within the time stipulated by law, while awaiting the decision of the CJ.

While stating that the said letter for transfer was not yet before the court, he subsequently fixed May 29, for hearing.

Related Articles