Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has struck out a suit seeking nullification of submission of the name of Ademola Adeleke as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 16 election in Osun State.Senator Adeleke emerged the winner of the Osun gubernatorial election.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the High Court on Thursday struck out the suit on the ground that the plaintiff, Awoyemi Oluwatayo Lukman lacked locus standi in the matter.Lukman who was the governorship candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) in the Osun 2022 governorship election, had filed a suit seeking an order to void and set aside the submission of Adeleke’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for being illegal. The plaintiff named PDP, INEC and Adeleke as defendants in the case. The grouse of the plaintiff was that Adeleke’s name was hurriedly submitted by PDP on March 11 as against between March 14 to 18 as contained in the INEC guidelines. The plaintiff asked the court to declare Adeleke’s submission illegal, unlawful, null, and void and be set aside since the name was not submitted within the period fixed by INEC. The litigant claimed that INEC must be bound by its official guidelines and that anything done outside the guidelines is against the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and should be voided.
Justice Egwuatu in his judgment, however, dismissed the suit, stating that Lukman lacked locus standi to file the case.The judge further held that the suit was statute barred having been fixed outside the 14 days stipulated by section 285 of the 1999 Constitution that all pre-election suits must be filed within 14 days whereas, the instant suit was filed after 28 days.