The Supreme Court on Thursday has dismissed an appeal by Governor Ademola Adeleke and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, seeking to restore the nullification of the participation of Osun State’s former Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, and his Deputy, Benedict Alabi, in the July 16, 2022 governorship election.
Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja had, in a judgment on September 30, 2022, nullified the participation of Oyetola and Alabi in the governorship election on the grounds that their nomination forms were endorsed by an acting Chairman of APC, who was also a serving Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022, has former Acting Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni and four others as defendants.
Justice Nwite in his judgement held that the nomination of Oyetola and his deputy, was unlawful and unconstitutional because Buni, who submitted their names to INEC, violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.
But Justice Nwite’s judgment was set aside by the Court of Appeal, Abuja in a judgment in December last year, a decision the PDP appealed to the Supreme Court.
However in a judgment on Thursday, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Centus Nweze, held that the appeal by the PDP was without merit and directed the lawyer to the PDP, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), to withdraw it.
The court held that the PDP could not, under the law, question the process leading to the emergence of Oyetola and Alabi as candidates of the APC in the election.