Law News
Elections: Court strikes out suit on Obanikoro’s eligibility

An Ikeja High court presided by Justice Kazeem Alogba yesterday struck out the perjury suit, brought against new Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro. The court, sequel to an argument canvassed by Obanikoro’s counsel, Mr Gbenga Ojo threw out the Originating Summons by the three plaintiffs, Micheal Babatunde Ogun, Suleiman Olayinka Saheed and Wasiu Adeniyi Odusanya on the grounds that the documentary evidences tendered before the court are not admissible in law.

Beside, the judge held that the suit did not in anyway disclose any course of action. To his end, the suit was struck out. The plaintiffs had among other prayers is asking the court to bar Obanikoro from contesting for political offices in the county on the ground that he had allegedly committed perjury. Other defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

In his ruling, Justice Alogba held: “Legally admissible documents were not tendered before this court. There is no evidence therefore that the defendant committed perjury. The Originating Summons is incompetent and ought to be strucked out. The incompetence of the suit robs the court the jurisdiction to entertain the suit on its merit. “The court will therefore not bother to go into the merit of the matter as same would amount to a mere academic

The applicants had prayed the court to issues a declaration that Obanikoro was not eligible to contest the primaries based on paragraph 4(a) of Part IV of the Electoral Guidelines for Primary Election 2014 of the PDP and his antecedents as particularised in the affidavit in support of the originating summon.

They also prayed for, “A declaration that the first respondent stands disqualified by virtue of constitutional provisions, including Eectoral Act from aspiring for nomination in the governorship primaries of the third respondent or any registered political party in Nigeria for the purpose of contesting 2015 general elections for governorship in Lagos State or any subsequent elections in Nigeria.”

Senator Obanikoro who was the governorship aspirant under the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos State, then had questioned the suit asking Justice Alogba to stop him from contesting the governorship primaries of the party or any other election in the future. Obanikoro in his preliminary objection to the suit filed by the applicants which included: Micheal Babatunde Ogun, Suleiman Olayinka Saheed and Wasiu Adeniyi Odusan, had asked Justice Alogba to issue an order striking out or dismissing the originating summons, describing it as an abuse of court process.

He had also prayed the judge to issue an order striking out or dismissing the originating summons, which according to him does not disclose reasonable cause of action and for any order the court may deem fit to make in the circumstances

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