Court Strikes out Appeal against Ondo APC Lawmaker

The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital has dismissed an appeal filed by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Osulowo Tibetan against the election of a lawmaker representing Okitipupa State Constituency -2, Mr James Ololade-Gbegudu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, Appeal Court and the Supreme Court had upheld the sack of Akinwunmi of the APC as a member of the Ondo State House of Assembly and declared Ololade-Gbegudu as the winner of the 2019 APC assembly primary.

Months after the case had been settled in favour of Ololade-Gbegudu, the PDP assembly candidate in the 2019 general election, Osulowo approached the Appellate Court to grant him the permission to appeal against the court’s decision and asked the court to declare him the winner of the poll.

Osulowo noted that since Akinwunmi who participated in the election had been sacked for not winning his party’s primaries, he should have been declared the lawmaker instead of Ololade-Gbegudu.

Delivering the lead judgment of the Court through a virtual proceeding with all the Counsel to the parties in attendance in the open Court, Justice O. F Omoleye agreed with the lawmaker’s Counsels, Femi Emodamori and Ifedayo Olanipekun that the application of the PDP candidate contravened Section 285(11) and (12) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The court held that the constitution stipulates that an appeal in a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the date of the judgment, and that the appeal itself must be heard and determined within 60 days after same is filed. 

The Court consequently struck out the application with N100,000 costs awarded against PDP and Osulowo Tibetan, in favour of Mr Ololade-Gbegudu.

Leke Adegbite

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