Appeal Court reserves judgment on Ekiti APC governorship primary 

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The Court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti Division, has reserved judgment in an appeal filed by a contestant in the January 27 Ekiti State All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election, Kayode Ojo, challenging the victory of the governor-elect, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji.

The appeal brought by Ojo was heard at the court’s sitting yesterday, with parties in the appeal adopting the processes filed, including motions on notice, briefs of argument and preliminary objections, among others.

The presiding judge, Justice M. A. A. Adumein, after lawyers to parties in the appeal had adopted their processes and argued their briefs, adjourned for judgment on a date expected to be communicated to the parties later.

Oyebanji through his counsel, Mr. Yakubu Mikyau (SAN) and APC through its counsel, Mr. Shaibu Aruwa (SAN), whose brief was argued by Titilayo Precious Soje, urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking merit and for being incompetent.

Counsel for Ojo, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), urged the court to allow the appeal and grant the reliefs sought by his client, saying the lower court was wrong to have struck out the suit.

Respondents in the appeal are the APC (1st), Oyebanji (2nd), 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 remaining respondents 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).

Counsel for the 4th-14th respondents, Mr. Kabir Akingbolu and counsel for the 15th-20th respondents, Mr. Adedayo Adewumi, equally urged the court to dismiss the appeal of the appellants on the grounds that it was incompetent.

The 4th-19th defendants served as chairmen of the Electoral Committees/Returning Officers in the 16 local governments during the Ekiti APC governorship primary held across the state, while the 20th respondent were members of a panel raised by the party’s national secretariat to conduct the primary poll.

A Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti presided over by Justice Babs Kuewumi, had on August 4 struck out a suit filed by Ojo and upheld Oyebanji’s preliminary objection that the writ of summons and statement of claim of Ojo were defective, which it said dealt a fatal blow to the case.

Justice Adumein told parties in the appeal that the date of judgment would be communicated to them in due course.

Other members of the panel, who heard the appeal, are Justice F. A. Ojo and Justice A.B. Mohammed.

Abeeb Atanda

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