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BREAKING: Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Akeredolu’s Re-election

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The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, upheld the election of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, upheld the election of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.

Delivering a ruling, Justice Inyang Ekwo, dismissed a suit challenging the validity of the emergence of the governor as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the July 20 primary election.

The presiding judge dismissed the suit filed by Olajumoke Anifowose, filed on her behalf by her lawyer, Adesina Oke.

The judge, however, held that the application was statute-barred having been filled outside 14 days allowed by law for a pre-election matter.

The plaintiff had in the suit filed on her behalf by her lawyer, Adesina Oke, challenged the indirect primary election which produced Akeredolu as the nominated governorship candidate of APC.

According to her, Section 87 of the Electoral Act and Article 20 of the APC constitution and other relevant election guidelines were violated in the primary election by the State Executive Committee and Local Government Committee of APC that conducted the primary election.

Anifowose, therefore, applied for an order of the court declaring the primary election as invalid.

She also prayed the court to prohibit APC from submitting Akeredolu’s name as its governorship candidate and stop parading himself as a gubernatorial candidate.

But Justice Ekwo upheld the preliminary objection against the suit by Akeredolu and APC who claimed that the Court action was grossly incompetent as it was not filed within 14 days required by law and by that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

Although Justice Ekwo stressed that Akeredolu was nominated by APC on July 20, and the plaintiff instituted the suit on July 29, which fell within 14 days stipulated by law, the suit however became incompetent due to the withdrawal of the initial originating summons and its substitution on August 20 by the plaintiff.

The Court held that the substitution of the second originating summon was done outside 14 days required by law, and therefore became an invalid suit by the provision of section 285 of the 1999 constitution.

Justice Ekwo subsequently dismissed the suit on the ground that it was grossly incompetent to stand in the face of the law.

Naija News reports that Akeredolu was declared the winner of the Oct. 11, 2020 governorship election in the state after polling 292, 830 votes to defeat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP, who scored 195, 791 votes.