Law News
Court dismisses PDP’s application to void Osun poll

The Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo has dismissed the application filed by the Peoples Democratic Party seeking for a mandatory order to nullify the elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Osun State in April 2011.

Justice Babs Kuewumi, dismissed the application on Wednesday in the ruling he read based on the application filed by the PDP.

The PDP had dragged the INEC and former Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State and Ambassador Rufus Akeju before the court seeking a reversal of all actions taken by Akeju as REC after an earlier order of March 28th 2011 given by the same court which restrianed him from conducting the 2011 elections to National Assembly as well as State House of Assembly.

The INEC had conducted the April 2011 polls and all the seats were won by the candidates of the All Progressives Congress but the PDP were aggrieved and they approached the court again asking it for an order to nullify the elections and to conduct by elections in all the constituencies among other prayers.

The PDP represented by Mr. Moses Ojo, has sought four reliefs in the motion the party and they are: A mandatory order for reversal of all steps taken by the first defendant and second defendant, an order to declare the National Assembly elections and State House of Assembly election nullity: an order directing the INEC to withdraw the certificate of return given to the winners of the elections and an order compelling the INEC to conduct a by election to fill the seats.

But Kuewumi held that only ” …Election Petitions Tribunal can give such orders. The application is hearby dismissed.”

Counsel for the INEC, Mrs. Faith Okoli, an Asisstant Director, Legal Services, hailed the ruling describing it as erudite.

Although counsel for the PDP, Mr. Kehinde Adesiyan, thanked the judge for the ruling, he said that the PDP would appeal the ruling.

Adesiyan said, ” There was an order of this same court on March 28th 2011 which restrained Akeju from conducting the April 2011 elections but he went ahead and violated the order.

” The court did not say anything on this but it is so clear that the order was disrespected. We will test the rulings we will challenge it before the Court of Appeal.

The sanctity and sacredness of the judiciary must be respected, Akeju violated the order of the same court.

“It was a pre-election matter and the Election Petitions Tribunal has no power to hear pre-election matters. So we will challenge it.”

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