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Ondo Poll: Court Orders Aiyedatiwa, Others To File Defence

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A Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State and others to filed their defence in a suit instituted by Sen. Jimoh Ibrahim seeking to void the April 20 All Progressives Congress (APC)’s governorship primary election in the state.

Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the directive after counsel for the APC, Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, informed the court that the party had written a letter to the Chief Judge of FHC for the matter to be transferred to the Akure division.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in the suit marked: FHC)ABJ/CS/588/2024, Ibrahim sued APC, Aiyedatiwa and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INE) as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

Ibrahim, an aspirant in the primaries and a senator representing Ondo South at the Senate, is praying the court to set aside the April 20 governorship primary election of the party that produced Gov. Aiyedatiwa as its candidate.

He urged the court to declare that Aiyedatiwa is not the valid candidate of APC by virtue of the party’s non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the regulations and guidelines of the political party in the conduct of the poll.

He, therefore, sought an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the governor from parading himself as the APC’s governorship candidate for the November general election in Ondo State.

Ibrahim, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs, equally prayed the court for a mandatory injunction compelling INEC to delist the names of APC and Aiyedatiwa from amongst the list of political parties and governorship candidates for the state’s governorship election.

He further asked the court to strip the party and Aiyedatiwa “of all rights appurtenant to political parties fielding candidates, and candidates at the said governorship election, except a fresh primary election is conducted and a candidate lawfully nominated.”

Upon resumed hearing on Tuesday, Ibrahim’s lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, told the court that he received a memorandum of conditional appearance from APC’s lawyer.

Uche said he had equally received a memorandum of conditional appearance from INEC but had not received any application from Aiyedatiwa.

The senior lawyer said besides all these, the defendants had not filed any defence in the suit

Oyetibo confirmed filing a memorandum of conditional appearance, which was served on the plaintiff.

He said since the plaintiff served on them their processes on May 7, he was still within time to respond.

The senior lawyer, who wondered why Ibrahim filed the suit in Abuja, told the court that a letter had been written to the Chief Judge, Justice Tsoho, seeking for the transfer of the matter to Akure division of the court.

He said they are awaiting the CJ’s response.

Counsel for the governor, Bode Olanipekun, SAN, said though they were served on May 9, they were still within time to respond.

He therefore confirmed Oyetibo’s position on a letter to the CJ.

INEC’s lawyer, Charlesi Edosanwan, who said he was still within time to file their response, said he was also aware of the APC’s letter to have the matter transferred.

But Uche said writing a letter was a non-issue as the letter was not before the court.

Justice Ekwo said the issue of the letter cannot be discussed in the court since the letter was not before him.

The judge held that what was before him was what he was concerned about

“What I am going to do, taking into consideration time for parties to file and respond, I will give you a time of return date and from their, we wll get further directive,” he said.

The judge, who directed parties to file their applications, adjourned until May 29 for mention.(NAN)

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