Osun election: Bid by Aregbesola’s loyalist, Adeoti, to stop Oyetola fails

Adegboyega Oyetola, Governor of Osun State

By Taiye Agbaje

The bid by Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, an associate of former governor Rauf Aregbesola to stop Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of All Progressives Congress (APC) from participating in next Saturday’s Osun governorship failed at Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday.

Adeoti, a chieftain of a faction of APC in Osun loyal to Aregbesola, a former governor of the state and the incumbent Minister of Interior had in the suit asked the court to disqualify Oyetola on the grounds that he (Oyetola) contested in the poll as a member of the party’s Caretaker Extraordinary and Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).

Adeoti said the act contravened the provisions of Section 222 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) and Article 31(iii) of the APC (October 2014 as Amended).

Adeoti, who was an aspirant in the Feb. 19 Osun APC governorship primary in the originating summons dated Feb. 22 and filed Feb. 23, prayed the court to nullify Oyetola’s candidacy

According to him, the 2nd defendant (Oyetola) ought to have resigned his membership of the 1st defendant (APC)’s CECPC and leave office as an officer of the 1st defendant at least 30 days prior to the date of the 1st defendant’s Osun State primary election to qualify for participation in the said 1st defendant’s primary election.

Adeoti, the plaintiff in the suit, filed the matter through his legal team led by Chiesonu Okpoko, SAN.

In the suit, the plaintiff listed the APC, Oyetola and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.

Upon resumption of the matter on Wednesday, Adeoti’s counsel, Mahmud Adesina, SAN, informed that the matter was adjourned for hearing and that he was ready to proceed on the case.

Delivering judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo, declared that the suit as an abuse of court process.

Justice Ekwo held that there was no iota of law supporting the plaintiff (Adeoti)’s process filed before the court.

The judge also agreed with the APC (1st defendant) that the court could not assumed jurisdiction on the matter on the grounds that the there was no cause of action for filing the suit.

Ekwo also held that Adeoti, who was also an aspirant in the Feb 19 APC’s primary poll, in his application, also admitted that he did not exhaust the party’s internal mechanism before filing the suit.

Consequently, the judge dismissed the suit in its entirety for being an abuse of court process.