Barely a week to the conduct of July 8 by-election for Osun West Senatorial District, the Assistant Osun State Auditor of All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr Tajudeen Adekunbi, Chairman of All Progressive grand Alliance (APGA), Pastor Olatunji Popoola and another member of APC, Mr Basiru Abidoye Adigun on Friday filed an application before a Federal High Court, in Osogbo to disqualify the party’s candidate, Senator Mudashiru Hussain from contesting the election.
Other defendants joined in the suit include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Osun State government, chairman of the APC screening committee for the by election, Hon Sanusi Rikiji and chairman of the appeal committee of the APC, Hon Abdullahi Bello.
In an originating summon deposed to in a sworn affidavit by the first plaintiff, Pastor Olatunji Popoola, the litigants wanted the court to determine among other issues “whether the qualification for senatorial election is not governed by Section 65 and 66 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended”.
“Whether the disqualification of the 1st defendant (Hussain) by the 3rd defendant (Rikiji) and 4th defendant (Bello) is not in compliance with the term and tenure of Section 66(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and APC 2014 guidelines for nomination of candidates for public office”.
“Whether the 5th defendant (INEC) can validly accept the 1st defendant as the candidate of the 2nd defendant (APC) for the purpose of 8th July, 2017 Osun West Senatorial by election, the 1st defendant having not resigned his appointment from the public service of the 6th defendant (Osun State government) as Commissioner in charge of cabinet matters less than 30 days before the said by election.”
Therefore, the plaintiffs were seeking an order of the court “disqualifying the 1st defendant as the candidate of the 2nd defendant from contesting Osun West Senatorial District by election scheduled to hold on 8th July 2017, being a commissioner in the public service of the 6th respondent, who failed, refused and neglected to resign his appointment 30 days before the scheduled by election”.
Similarly, the plaintiffs were seeking among other declarations that the 1st defendant nomination form-Senate APC/003/2015 was not duly sworn to before a magistrate or notary public in compliance with APC 2014 guidelines for the nomination of candidate for public office”.
“A declaration that the 2nd defendant (APC) does not have a validly nominated candidate for the purpose of July 8, 2017 by election for Osun West Senatorial District”.
“A declaration that the 2nd defendant has no power through its National Working Committee (NWC) or any of its organ to waive non-compliance with the provision of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended, for the 1st defendant, for the purpose of the by election for Osun West Senatorial District scheduled for July 8, 2017.”
Though the application and reliefs being sought by the plaintiffs were supported by an affidavit of urgency, a date for the hearing of the suit had not been fixed by the Federal High Court.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (politics)