The Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo has declined jurisdiction in the case of aggrieved members of the Osun State All Progressives Confess, seeking to invalidate the ward, state and local Congress of the party held in July.

The aggrieved members who are members of The Osun Progressives, TOP, loyal to the minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had approached the Federal High Court seeking an order to invalidate the election and affirm its own members as the authentic executive of the party in Osun State.

In an application brought before the court, 2,517 persons who described themselves as aggrieved members of the APC against the party’s caretaker leadership, Governor Gboyega Oyetola and INEC, claimed that they paid to the designated Banks but were denied access to the purchase of the form by the Governor and the then APC caretaker Chairman in Osun, Prince Gboyega Famoodun.

However, the defendants filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to hear the matter on the ground that it fell exclusively under the purview of what the Electoral Law and decisions of the Supreme Court contemplated as party’s internal affairs.

Ruling on the preliminary objection of the APC and INEC, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola remarked that having not participated in the congress as contained in their originating summon, the aggrieved members lacked the justification to seek to invalidate the process.

Justice Ayoola also took a swipe at one of the claims of the plaintiff seeking to be declared as the validly elected executive of the party during the Congress, as he declared that they had no such status to enjoy such declaration.

Speaking further, the Jurist noted that, “the Supreme Court had said the court could not dabble into the internal dispute of party unless it fell under Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act. In the instance case, the plaintiff does not qualified to be called an aspirant and was not a candidate in the said congress based on their own affirmation”. 

Citing a plethora of Supreme Court cases, Justice Ayoola said the fact of the dispute did not fall under S. 87(8)) of the Electoral Act and Section 251 of the Constitution. 

He stated further that “the case of the plaintiff is not covered by the law and cannot be adjudicated by the court. All reliefs sought against the first to the fifth defendants do not affect federal agencies but State hence should be filed at state high Court”.

On the whole, the Court in striking out the suit ruled that “the suit as constituted was defective for making allegations against persons, especially Governor, Alhaji Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola who were not made parties to the suit, failure to properly institutes the suit in a representative capacity as those represented are imprecise, nebulous indescribable and undeterminable; and purely a hypothetical disputes that is academic or moot”.

Adenitan Akinola

 

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