2023 Elections: Otegbeye Floors APC, LP. Wins Appeal

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Olusola Balogun

Monday 23th January will remain indelible and a watershed in the race towards who occupies the Oke Mosan seat in the 2023 gubernatorial polls.
That day,the political calculation towards the gubernatorial polls was significantly altered.
That day, the Court of Appeal, sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, upheld the petition of the candidate of African Democratic Congress, ADC, Barrister Biyi Otegbeye.

The appellate court equally upheld the petitions of all the 23 House of Assembly candidates of the party in the forthcoming general elections.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP) in Ogun State had dragged the ADC to court ,alleging that Otegbeye as well as 23 assembly candidates of the ADC were not validly nominated in line with the 2022 electoral Act.

Nigerian Echo recalls that Justice Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta on November 26 ruled in favour of LP and APC directing the INEC to delist Otegbeye and all the 23 OGHA candidates from the list of those to contest the March election.

Dissatisfied, Otegbeye and the ADC Assembly candidates headed to the court of Appeal. They insisted that the judgement was wrong and demanded that it be upturned.

The appellate judge, Justice M.A.A. Adumen JCA in his judgement set aside the Judgement of the Federal High Court Abeokuta division which initially ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) to remove the names of the ADC Gubernatorial and House of Assembly Candidates OLUBIYI OTEGBEYE & OTHERS from the List of Candidates for the 2023 general election in Ogun State

The Court, in a unanimous Judgement, held that the lower court has no Jurisdiction to adjudicate on the suits filed by APC and LP before the trial court challenging the primaries conducted by ADC in the first place.

The Court subsequently set aside the decision and all the orders made by the trial court for want of Jurisdiction and the case was dismissed.

Counsel to the Appellants, Tunde Falola, thanked the Court for the well researched and painstakingly delivered Judgment

Justice Adumen cited Supreme Court judgement which says: no member of a political party has the locus standi to question the decision of a political party in the nomination of a candidate for elective office. It is only an aspirant who participated in a primary that has the locus standi to challenge the outcome of the primaries

The court awarded the cost of N50,000 in favour of the appellant.

The judge said that the appeal succeeds because the issue of who becomes the candidate of a political party remains the prerogative of the political parties.

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