Nigeria: Court Nullifies APC Reps, Assembly Candidates’ Primary Elections

The judge declared the nomination of Mr Akinlade as “irregular, null and void.”

A Federal High Court in Abeokuta, Ogun State, has nullified the election of the All Progressives Congress candidates for Yewa South/Ipokia federal constituency and Remo North constituency in the state.

Abiodun Akinlade and Biyi Adeleye are the candidates for Yewa South/Ipokia Federal constituency and Remo North state constituency respectively.

Mr Akinlade had occupied the position for 12 years, between 2003 – 2015.

He was later appointed commissioner of the Federal Character Commission.

Ahead of the 2023 elections, Mr Akinlade obtained a nomination form to contest for the Ogun West senatorial ticket of the APC.

But PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the party leadership in Ogun State prevailed on him to settle for the House of Representatives ticket, asking him to step down for the Lagos West Senator, Olamilekan Adeola.

But Mr Akinlade did not buy the House of Representatives form, apparently assuming that the party would sort that out.

But displeased by the development, a contestant, Michael Adeleke, who procured the House of Representatives form from the party, dragged the APC, Mr Akinlade, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the Federal High Court.

Similarly, Mr Adeleye who until the primaries was a special adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun, on political affairs, had earlier shown interest in contesting the House of Representatives ticket before he later dropped the ambition.

But on the primary election day, the governor’s aide was declared winner having taken part in the primary.

In her judgment on Thursday, Justice Oluwatoyin Oguntoyinbo, declared the nomination of Mr Akinlade as “irregular, null and void.”

The judge held that Mr Akinlade never paid for an expression of interest form, nor was he screened by the APC within the time prescribed by the party in respect of the National Assembly primary election.

Therefore, the judge ordered the party to conduct a fresh primary election within 40 days to select and nominate another candidate for Yewa South/Ipokia Federal Constituency ahead of the 2023 polls.

The court also ordered that Mr Akinlade must not partake in the new primary election.

In a separate judgement, the same judge also ruled against Mr Adeleye adding that the plaintiff, Solomon Osho, was winner of the election having procured and filled the nomination and expression of interest form.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the judgment, the plaintiff counsel, Ajibola Kaka described the judgment as victory for democracy.

He said, “It’s a case between Solomon Osho and Hon. Adebiyi Adeleye the court has delivered the judgement in favour of our client which is Hon. Solomon Osho.

“The court has asked INEC to recognize him as the candidate of APC that the defendant did not obtain form for the primary and he was not screened among the Aspirants and as a result Hon. Adebiyi was disqualified.”

On his part, Mr Osho expressed gladness, saying “this victory can only be achieved by God himself.”

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