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Osun tribunal strikes out case against AC lawmaker

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2007/12/03 | Views: 355 |

Osun tribunal strikes out case against AC lawmaker


The second Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Osogbo and presided over by Justice Hamman Barka on Saturday dismissed the petition filed by Miss Dorcas Abosede Oyegbile against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others over the April 14, 2007 House of Assembly election of Hon. Najeem Salaam of the Action Congress (AC).

The second Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Osogbo and presided over by Justice Hamman Barka on Saturday dismissed the petition filed by Miss Dorcas Abosede Oyegbile against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others over the April 14, 2007 House of Assembly election of Hon. Najeem Salaam of the Action Congress (AC).

This followed the preliminary objection filed against the petition by Salaam on the ground that the petition was incompetent based on the petitioner’s lack of locus standi to present it.
The tribunal held that by the petitioner’s pleadings, she was not a candidate at the April 14, House of Assembly election held in Ejigbo State Constituency.
In the light of above ground, the tribunal also held that the petitioner ought not to have presented the petition in court.

In the ruling which lasted for 36 minutes, Justice Hamman Barka also declared that by virtue of section 144 (1), (B) and section 145 (1) (d) of the Electoral Act 2006, only a political party could question the validity of an election on the ground that its candidate was validly nominated but unlawfully excluded from participating in the election.

Citing the case of Alliance for Democracy (AD) versus Fayose and Okon versus Bob as reported in 2004 Volume 1, Nigerian Weekly Law Report, Part 854, page 378 at 400 to 401 where the Court of Appeal held that if the petitioner “was excluded from the election, he was not a candidate at the election, he lacks the locus standi to bring this action and the only person that can complain in an election petition of valid nomination but unlawful exclusion is a political party by virtue of the provisions of section 134 (1), (d) of the Electoral Act, 2002’ with the same provision as in section 145 (1) (d) of the Electoral Act, 2006.
The tribunal then held that the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) on which platform Miss Forcas Abosede Oyegbile sought to contest the election did not complain that its candidate was unlawfully excluded.

While striking out the the petition, the tribunal berated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its stand in respect of the petition which tilted in favour in support of the petitioner whereas it was a respondent in the same matter.
The tribunal referred INEC to study the case of Ngige versus Obi 2006 Volume 14, Nigeria Weekly Law Report, Part 999, page 1 particularly at page 224 to 225 where it was held that “it is the duty of the electoral body to defend the election which it conducted”.

The tribunal then struck out the petition filed by Miss Oyegbile against Salaam and declared that it would not award any costs against the petitioner since the verdict was a victory for Ejigbo State Constituency.
Justice Barka then urged all parties to bear their costs and fixed Monday December 3, for counsel to address the tribunal in petition number HA/EPT/OS/1/07 filed by Fatai A Rabiu against INEC and others challenging the election of Razak Ayobami Salinsile of the Action Congress (AC), Iwo State Constituency of the Osun State House of Assembly.

Rabiu of the AD had filed the petition challenging the election of Salinsile on the ground that he was validly nominated but unlawfully excluded from the election.
This ground of complaint forms the basis of the petition number HA/EPT/OS/2/07 filed by Sikiru Alabi of PPA who is challenging the election of Hon. Ademola Ajiboye of the AC, Ila State Constituency in the Osun State parliament.

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