The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday dismissed a suit challenging the nomination of Governor Gboyega Oyetola as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the last governorship election in Osun State. The suit was instituted by an aggrieved aspirant on the platform of the party, Kunle Adegoke, who alleged that the July 20, 2018 primary election, in which he participated alongside Oyetola and others, was marred by irregularities and non-compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.
Oyetola, had after emerging as the party’s candidate, gone ahead to win the September 22 and 27, 2018 governorship election in the state. Dismissing the suit challenging Oyetola’s nomination as APC’s candidate for the election, Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled in his judgment on Friday that nothing was illegal or unconstitutional in the conduct of the primary by the APC as alleged by Adegoke. The judge ruled, “On the whole, I find no illegal or unconstitutional act on the part of the 1st defendant in the conduct of the governorship primaries in Osun State that would warrant this court to intervene in what can be considered as its internal affairs either before or on July 20, 2018 when the said primary election was held.”
Adegoke, had on July 27, 2018, filed the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/ CS/804/2018, to challenge the emergence of Oyetola as APC’s governorship candidate. The defendants in the suit were originally, the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission, but Oyetola and his deputy, Benedict Alabi, were later joined as co-defendants. Adegoke contended, among others in the suit, that the conduct of the APC’s primary election in Osun State violated the Constitution, the Electoral Act, 2010 and relevant provisions of the APC constitution, including the Regulation for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
He said, in a supporting affidavit, that the “direct method” adopted by the party allowing all general members of the party to vote in the primary election “was a departure from the extant 2014 guidelines of the party”.