The Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan on Friday dismissed a case filed by Hon. Olugbemi Sunbo, against the victory of Rep Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, who emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oluyole Federal Constituency in May 2022.
A statement by the S.A Media & Publicity, Olamilekan Olusada, said Rep. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe won the party’s ticket on May 27, 2022.
According to the statement, on June 22, an action was filed by Olugbemi, asking the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Uche Nma Agomoh to invalidate the Primaries that declared Tolulope Akande-Sadipe as the winner.
“On Friday, December 9, 2022, the court held that Akande-Sadipe, who represents the constituency, remains the rightful candidate of the APC in Oluyole Federal Constituency.
“The suit, Samson OLUSUMBO Olugbemi vs APC & 2 others with Suit no. FHC/IB/CS/109/2022 was dismissed on the grounds that there was no evidence that he won the primaries.
“No evidence of any malpractice in the primary election was established by the plaintiff”, the counsels to Akande-Sadipe and APC, Olawole Abiola and Adeola Adedipe said.
“The court inferred that the case was held to be statute barred having been filed over 14 days after the cause of action occurred, which is the APC primary election of May 27, 2022, contrary to the provision of the constitution that provides that any action challenging primary election must be filed within 14days of the primary.
“The court upheld that the plaintiff does not qualify as an aspirant under the electoral act 2022 having not asserted that he participated in the primary.
“Hence, the court ruled that there were no grounds put before it, to nullify the ticket of the party in the custody of Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, having fulfilled all the provisions of the law and complied with stipulated guidelines.
Speaking further, the Counsels said the Presiding Judge struck out the case filed by the appellant, Olasunbo Olugbemi saying it does not have jurisdiction to entertain the plaintiff’s action “because the plaintiff claimed that there was no primary election”.
“The court is only empowered under section 285(14) of the constitution to examine the absence of due process in the conduct of primaries of a political party. However, the plaintiff said there was no primary election. The court rightly declined jurisdiction”.
“The federal high court Ibadan is not the proper forum to commence the action because by the FHC Practice Direction on Pre-Elections, 2022. An action must be commenced at Federal high court Abuja where the plaintiff complains against the decision of INEC and APC whose headquarters are both in Abuja”, the counsels said.
“Accordingly, the court declared Akande-Sadipe as the validly nominated and authentic candidate of the APC for the Oluyole Federal Constituency House of Representatives seat February 2023 election.”