Ninety out of the 113 ad-hoc delegates to the All Progressives Congress, APC’s primary election for Akoko South-West/South-East federal constituency of Ondo State, have approached a Federal High Court, sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, seeking the nullification of the outcome of the election.
The delegates, through their attorney, A.S Subair of Femi Emmanuel Emodamori & Co., dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the APC and its candidate for the constituency, Adegboyega Adefarati before the court, praying for nullification of the primary result.
The delegates, in the suit, claimed that the APC erred in law by not conducting the primary that produced Adefarati as its candidate for the 2023 general elections within the federal constituency.
They alleged that the shifting of the venue of the primary election to Akure, which is outside the federal constituency, thereby disenfranchised them, the lawful delegates, from participating in the primary.
The APC is the first defendant, while Adefarati is the second defendant, with the INEC as the third defendant.
The plaintiffs include: Agbede Femi, Oripelaye Akeem, Anjorin Emmanuel, Olowo Michael, Ogedengbe Kayode Rufus, Ayoko Bola Olajumoke, Lawal Rasaki, Tunde Aruwajoye, Olorunda Seyi Emmanuel, Ilenusi Olamide, Oladipo Daniel, Mrs M.B. Ojomo and 78 other local government delegates of the APC in the federal constituency, who were allegedly excluded from the party’s purported primary held at Alagbaka, Akure on May 27, 2022.
Among other prayers, the applicants are seeking “an order of injunction restraining the third defendant from recognizing and/or including the name of the second defendant as the first defendant’s candidate for Akoko South-East/South-West federal constituency of the House of Representatives in the 2023 general election based on the result of the first defendant’s purported primary election for the said constituency held at the International Cultural Events Center, (the Dome) in Alagbaka, Akure, on 27th May 2022.
“An order compelling the first defendant to conduct a fresh primary election to elect her candidate for Akoko South-East/ South-West federal constituency at a venue within the said federal constituency as provided for by Section 84(5)(c)(i) of the Electoral Act, 2022 within 14 days from the judgment of this honourable court.
“An order mandating the first defendant to use only the list of her local government delegates in Akoko South-East/South-West federal constituency duly recognized/certified by the third defendant, containing the names of the plaintiffs and other lawful delegates, to conduct the fresh primary election to elect her candidate for Akoko South-East/ South-West federal constituency of the House of Representatives.
“A declaration that by the provision of Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Constitution of the first defendant, only the plaintiffs and other lawful delegates of the first defendant, who are duly recognized by the third defendant can vote as delegates in the first defendant’s primary election for Akoko South-East/ South-West federal constituency of the House of Representatives.
“A declaration that by virtue of Section 84(5)(C)(i) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the first defendant must conduct her primary election to select candidate for the Akoko South-East/South-West federal constituency of the House of Representatives within the said federal constituency.
“A declaration that the first defendant’s sudden shift of the venue of her primary election for Akoko South-East/South-West federal constituency from St. Patrick Secondary School, Iwaro-Oka Akoko, within the said federal constituency, to International Cultural Events Center (The Dome) in Alagbaka, Akure on 27th May 2022 without notice to and/or consent of the plaintiffs and 78 other local government delegates represented by them in this suit, is arbitrary, unlawful, illegal and a gross violation of Section 84(5)(C)(i)of the Electoral Act, 2022.”