PDP loses bid to nullify Oyetola’s candidacy
The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party to nullify the nomination and participation of the Osun State former governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, and his deputy, Benedict Alabi, in the governorship election that was held in the state on July 16, 2022.
After directing the PDP lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN) to withdraw the appeal, the apex court led by Justice Chima Nweze on Thursday dismissed it because it was lacking in merit.
The PDP had prayed the Supreme Court to affirm and reinstate the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja that nullified the nomination of Oyetola and his deputy, Alabi, as standard bearers of the APC for the governorship election.
Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court had voided the participation of Oyetola and Alabi on the ground that their nomination forms were endorsed by an acting chairman of the APC and serving governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022, the court held that Buni acted in contravention of the provision of Section 183 of the Constitution when he held dual executive positions as the Governor and the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of APC.
Arguing through its team of lawyers led by Dr Abiodun Layonu (SAN), the APC said the high court judgment was perverse and occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice against it.
The party filed an appeal in December last year at the Court of Appeal and obtained an order that set aside the judgment of the high court. The party contended that the PDP lacked the requisite locus standi to institute the action. The appellant further insisted that PDP was bereft of the legal right to dabble in the internal affairs of another political party.
Among others, the APC argued that according to Section 84(14) of the Electoral Act, 2022, only an aspirant who took part in the primary election in which Oyetola and his deputy emerged could complain that the selection and nomination of a candidate for an election did not comply with the Act or the electoral guidelines of the political party.
Convinced, the high court judgment was thereafter vacated by the appellate court and subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court.