Oyetola allays fear, as Court voids his nomination as APC candidate for Osun guber, says No cause for alarm

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The Chief Press Secretary to Osun Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan, has appealed to supporters of the governor to remain calm in the face of the decision of a Federal High Court to nullify his candidature in the July 16 Governorship poll.

He noted that their team of lawyers would be challenging the decision at the Appeal Court, just as he expressed confidence that the decision would be set aside.

Omipidan further noted that the case was instituted by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in spite of the fact there is a plethora of decisions flowing from the apex court that frowns upon such a decision.

He said that, for the records, the position of the law is that only members of the APC who participated in the primary election can approach the court to challenge the nomination of Oyetola as the candidate of the party.

“All these are part of the antics of the opposition PDP and some of their collaborators from within to distract us. But like every of their plans, this too has fallen flat on their faces.

“They want to distract us from the Tribunal case. But we shall remain focused until we take back our mandate. We have confidence in the Tribunal to do justice in the case before it, just as we have implicit confidence in the Appeal Court to set aside this latest decision of the Federal High Court,” Omipidan said.

A federal high court in Abuja had earlier nullified the nomination of Gboyega Oyetola, Osun governor, and his deputy, Benedict Alabi, as candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the governorship election in the state.

Emeka Nwite, the presiding judge, gave the ruling on Friday in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022 and filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The suit has Mai Mala Buni, who was then the acting chairman of the APC, and four others as defendants.

Nwite, in his judgment, held that the nomination of Oyetola and his deputy, was unlawful and unconstitutional because Buni, who submitted their names to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), violated the provisions of section 183 of the constitution and section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

Kehinde Ogunwumiju, counsel to the PDP, had, in the suit dated April 7, prayed the court to void the nomination of Oyetola and his deputy on the grounds that the action of Buni, governor of Yobe, who acted in the capacity of the party chairman, breached the law.

However, Kunle Adegoke, counsel to Oyetola, disagreed with Ogunwumiju’s argument and urged the court to dismiss the case for being without merit.

He submitted that the plaintiff lacked the legal standing to file a lawsuit against the defendants since it is not an APC member and because the nomination process is a subject for political parties alone.

The defendant’s counsel also argued that the suit was statute-barred, hence the court should dismiss it.

But Nwite agreed with the submissions of the plaintiff and declared the nomination of the governor and his deputy null and void.

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