Barristers & Solicitors
APC appeals judgment voiding Oyetola, deputy’s candidacy in Osun guber election

•Seeks stay of Judgment’s execution

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has appealed the September 30 judgment by Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja voiding the candidacy of Governor Isiaka Oyetola of Osun State and his deputy, Bendict Alabi in the July 16 governorship election. In a 19-ground notice of Appeal dated October 4, the APC faulted the judgment by Justice Nwite and equally urged the Appeal Court to affirm Oyetola and Alabi as the candidates of the APC in the July 16 election in Osun State.

The notice of appeal was filed along with a motion on notice in which the APC is also praying the appellate court to stay the execution of the Federal High Court’s judgment pending the conclusion of the appeal. Justice Nwite’s judgment was on the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022, filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Governor Mai Mala Buni (who was APC’s acting Chairman), Oyetola, Alabi and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The APC argued, in its motion on notice that it was in the interest of justice that its right to fair hearing be preserved pending the determination of the appeal. It added that the application to maintain status quo pending the determination of its appeal was paramount and inevitable as the grounds of the appeal it filed raise issues of substantial points of law with a high possibility of success on the appeal. The APC is, in its notice of appeal filed by its lawyer, Abiodun Layonu (SAN), challenging the entire judgment of the trial court.

The party argued that the PDP which brought the action lacked the requisite locus standi to have instituted the suit. It added that, “by the provision of Section 84(14) of the Electoral Act, 2022, it is only an aspirant who participated in the primary election that can complain that the provision of the Act and the guidelines of the political party have not been complied with in the selection or nomination of a candidate of a political party for an election.” The APC states that it did not admit anywhere that the members of the defunct Caretaker Committee/Extra-Ordinary Planning Committee (CCEPC) coordinated the primary that produced Oyetola and Alabi respondents as the appellant Governorship candidates and no such issue was raised by the PDP.