Justice Obiora Egwuatu of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday struck out a suit challenging the nomination of Ademola Adeleke as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the July 16 governorship election in Osun State.
Justice Egwuatu, in his judgment, struck out the suit seeking Adeleke’s disqualification from the election for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
According to him, the plaintiff, an aggrieved member of the PDP, Lukman Awoyemi, lacked the necessary locus standi (legal authority) to initiate the legal action in the first place.
The court, in further holding that the suit lacked merit, stated that the case, having not been filed within the stipulated time allowed by law for a pre-election matter, had become statute barred and liable for dismissal.
In the suit marked FHC /ABJ/ CS/469/22, the plaintiff had asked the court to disqualify Adeleke from participating in the July 16 governorship poll on the grounds that the submission of his nomination as candidate of the PDP in the online portal of the Independent National Electoral Commission did not fall within the stipulated time directed by the electoral umpire.
INEC, the PDP and Adeleke were listed as first, second and third defendants respectively in the suit.
The plaintiff said the PDP sent Adeleke’s nomination to the online portal of INEC on March 11, days outside the March 14 to 18, as contained in INEC guidelines for the conduct of the Osun governorship poll.
He argued that the action of the PDP breached INEC’s guidelines hence, the court should set aside Adeleke’s nomination as PDP’s governorship candidate in the poll.
However, delivering judgment, Justice Egwuatu agreed with the submissions of the PDP and Adeleke that Awoyemi does not have the necessary locus standi to challenge Adeleke’s nomination in the first place.
According to the defendants, Awoyemi was not an aspirant in the governorship poll and not even a member of the PDP.
Justice Egwuatu also agreed that the case of the plaintiff was statute barred as it was filed 28 days after the cause of action arose.