A federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta on Friday nullified all the House of Assembly primaries conducted by the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Ogun State and the outcome.
The court said the process did not adhere to the electoral law.
The presiding Judge, Justice Adetayo Aluko ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delete names the 26 candidates from its website.
The judgement followed the suit brought before the court by the All Progressives Congress(APC) against the ADC and INEC, where it sought five grounds for determination by the court.
Justice Aluko in his judgement said since the 3rd defendant(INEC) agreed that it did not monitor the primaries, the action violates the Nigerian electoral act and the Constitution.
Speaking on the facts of the suit, counsel to the plaintiff, Adewale Adegoke, said the suit challenged the candidature of ADC House of Assembly candidate, Wemino Owolabi, as he was declared for Ifo 1 state constituency, for 2023 house of Assembly elections in Ogun state.
“Our contention in the suit was that Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the 3rd defendant in the suit, has violated a provision in the electoral law with the declaration of the 1st defendant as the validly nominated candidate of the ADC, and the court agreed with our submisions, that the 1st defendant was originally an aspirant under APC, before crossing over to ADC.
“The court also agreed that the supervision of primary which they claimed to have done did not hold because INEC did not monitor it, and INEC wrote a report to that effect which motivated our written of originating summon to that effect, what INEC was called to come and monitor was house of Assembly primary but what they saw them conducting was a governorship primary which was contrary to notice sent to INEC.
“The primaries were also held at a single venue which was at Agbeloba, State Headquarters of ADC, instead of holding the same primaries in the constituencies where they were expected to produce candidates.
“It was based on these reasons that the court agreed with us that the primaries that produced the 1st defendant was not done in accordance with the provision of the Constitution and the electoral act.
The INEC was then directed to remove the name of the 1st defendant from its website.
But the 1st defendant and INEC have right of appeal.
He said the order also goes for other assembly candidates of ADC in the State.
Meanwhile, ADC says it will appeal the judgement and asked its members and supporters to remain calm, expressing confidence that the validity of all its candidates will be sustained on appeal.
Reacting through its counsel, Ifenla Oligbinde, Esq., ADC said its,”The attention of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) has been drawn to the Judgements of Abeokuta Federal High Court today wherein the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been asked to delete names of Candidates of our party from those contesting the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
“While awaiting details of the judgement, our Legal team have been instructed to appeal the said judgements.
“We are of the firm opinion that the processes through which all our candidates emerged, are in genuine conformity with extant provisions of the electoral act and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We have no doubt whatsoever that the validity of all our candidates will be sustained on appeal.
“We urge all our party members and supporters to remain calm and focused on their campaign efforts.
“This pattern of distraction cannot change our resolve to form a pro-people’s government in Ogun State in 2023.”