A Federal High Court sitting in Ado- Ekiti yesterday dismissed a case filed by an aspirant in the January 27 governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kayode Ojo, an engineer; challenging the victory of Governor-elect Biodun Oyebanji.
It upheld the preliminary objection of the counsel for Oyebanji, Mr. Kabir Akingbolu, that the writ of summons and statement of claims of Ojo were defective, which dealt a fatal blow to the case.
Ojo, who emerged first runner in the APC primary poll, had approached the court to challenge the exercise, faulting the use of individuals he described as political appointees as electoral officers.
He urged the court to nullify the governorship primary on the grounds of alleged violation of the APC constitution and order for conduct of a fresh primary.
The APC is the 1st defendant, while Oyebanji, who won the June 18 governorship election, is the 2nd defendant.
Other defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission (3rd), Ayo Adegbite (4th), Adeoye Aribasoye (5th), Vincent Bewaji (6th), Goke Olajide (7th), Lateef Akanle (8th), Richard Apolola (9th), Kayode Fasakin (10th), Adu Joseph (11th) and Teju Okuyiga (12th).
The rest are Olumide Fadipe (13th), Dele Oloje (14th), Victor Adeniyi (15th), Folorunso Olabode (16th), Deji Ajayi (17th), Sunkanmi Onipede (18th), Kemi Olaleye (19th) and the secretary and members of the Ekiti APC 2022 Governorship Primary Electoral Committee (20th).
The 4th-19th defendants served as chairmen of the electoral committees/returning officers in the 16 local governments during the Ekiti APC governorship primary election held across the state.
Ekiti State Governor-elect Biodun Oyebanji has hailed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti affirming him as the validly-elected candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Oyebanji, in a statement by his media assistant, Raheem Akingbolu, described the ruling as a landmark judgment, which would laid to rest the controversies surrounding the January 27 APC primaries.
Hailing the judiciary for living up to its reputation as the last hope of the common man, Oyebanji said he was happy that the court upheld the decision of over a hundred thousand APC members that voted for him as the party’s candidate during the primaries on January 27.
The governor-elect urged his supporters to be magnanimous in victory, stressing that the case was a family affair, which should not warrant any name calling or bad blood among members of the party.
He called on Kayode Ojo and a few others who might have issues with the outcome of the primaries to sheathe their swords and work with the in-coming administration in the onerous task of developing the state.
Delivering judgment, Justice Babs Kuewumi dismissed Ojo’s case and agreed with Oyebanji’s counsel that the discrepancies in the originating processes had rendered the case mere academic.