The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, fixed September 27 to commence hearing on a suit seeking to void the governorship primary election of All Progressives Congress, APC, held in Osun State on July 20.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba ordered that hearing notices should be served on both the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, who were cited as 1st and 2nd Defendants in the suit that was lodged before the court by an aggrieved governorship aspirant in the state, Mr. Kunle Adegoke.
The plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/804/2018, maintained that the APC primary was conducted in gross violation of the 1999 Constitution, the Electoral Act, 2010, as well as relevant provisions of the Party’s Constitution and INEC’s Regulation for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries.
Aside praying the court to restrain APC from relying on or using the outcome of the purported primary election for the purpose of nominating a candidate for the Osun State governorship election billed for September 22, the plaintiff equally urged the court to stop INEC from recognising the outcome of the exercise.
It will be recalled that the APC had at the end of the disputed primary election, declared Mr. Gboyega Oyetola who was the Chief of Staff to the outgoing Governor of Osun State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, as its gubernatorial flag-bearer.
Meanwhile, the aggrieved aspirant, Mr. Adegoke, yesterday, alleged plot to stall hearing of his case till after the governorship election.
He made the allegation following the absence of both the APC and INEC in court when the matter was called up.
The plaintiff’s counsel, Mr. Abdulrakeem Mustapha, SAN, told the court that the Defendants were served with all the relevant processes, as well as hearing notices, since August 8.
Mustapha said: “My lord this is a mark of disrespect to this court. The vacation will end next week and by the time this matter is heard the election would have take place in Osun State.”
He urged the court to go ahead and hear the matter in the absence of Defendants.