*Says Buni violated Constitution
Tunde Oyesina, Abuja
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja Friday evening nullified the nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his Deputy Governorship candidate, Benedict Alabi as candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last guber election in Osun State.
The court premised its judgement on the ground that Governor Mai Mala Buni who submitted their names to INEC violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through its counsel, Kehinde Ogunwumiju had in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022 dragged Governor Mai Mala Buni and four others before the court challenging the nomination and sponsorship of Governor Oyetola and his deputy as the duly nominated candidates of the APC.
In challenging the competence of the suit, counsel to Oyetola, Kunle Adegoke (SAN) who contended, amongst other grounds that the plaintiff did not have the locus to commence the action and that the suit was statute-barred.
In arguing to the contrary, Ogunwumiju (SAN), leading O.M. Atoyebi (SAN) and Ademola Abimbola, submitted that the plaintiff rightly commenced the suit under Section 285(14) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
In its judgment, Justice Emeka Nwite agreed with the submissions of the plaintiff’s counsel and declared as null and void, the nomination of Oyetola and Alabi by the APC.
The court also held that Governor Mai Mala Buni acted in contravention of the provision of Section 183 of the Constitution when he held dual executive positions as the Governor of Yobe State and the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of APC.
The court held that the steps or decisions taken by Buni, including forwarding the names of Oyetola and Alabi to INEC, amounted to a nullity in law.