Two serving lawmakers in the Ogun State House of Assembly, Yusuf Adejojo and Solomon Osho have dragged some aides of Governor Dapo Abiodun, before the Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, over ‘non-resignation’ of their appointments before securing the All Progressives Congress (APC) tickets during the last party primaries.
The governor’s aides – Dorego Oluwatobi Aaron and Adebiyi Adeleye – had clinched APC tickets for Abeokuta South Constituency (I) and Remo North Constituency during the House of Assembly primaries organised by the party in May.
Dorego was the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abiodun on Housing, while Adeleye was the Special Adviser on Political Affairs.
But the lawmakers presently representing the constituencies, in a separate suits, accused the governor’s aides of breaching the Electoral Act which requires them to resign their appointments before contesting party primaries.
Adejojo in a suit no: FHC/AB/CS/99/2022 had approached Justice O.O Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta to give an Order setting aside the primary election allegedly held on 26th of May, 2022 to determine the 1st defendant’s candidacy for the State House of Assembly election for Abeokuta South State Constituency 1, Ogun State.
Similarly, Hon. Osho in a suit number: FHC/AB/CS/98/2022 also submitted that, Mr Adebiyi, having not resigned his appointment as Special Adviser on Political Affairs to Ogun State Governor, is not qualified to contest the Ogun State House of Assembly election in view of Section 84 (12) of the electoral Act 2022 and the recent Judgment of the Supreme Court on the Section.
In one of the Reliefs sought, the Osho sought an order “setting aside the purported nomination of Mr Adebiyi Adeleye as the candidate of the APC for failure to comply with primary guidelines and constitution of the APC and the constitution of APC and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
It was also alleged that Mr Adeleye presented a forged Secondary School Certificate and questionable OND result from New Bussa Polytechnic, under oath. The Court adjourned to July 18, 2022 for hearing.
Honourable Osho, who is presently, the Chairman House Committee on Justice of the State House of Assembly has also asked the Court to direct APC and INEC to recognize and accept him (Solomon Osho) as the bonafide APC State House of Assembly candidate in the 2023 General Election on the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC).
Osho equally asked the Court to declare “the declaration of the presumed winner as null and void saying that the 1st defendant (Adeleye) did not participate in the primary election processes, as he did not pay for and obtain the expression of interest and Nomination forms, in line with the 2nd defendant’s (APC) primary Election Guideline and Constitution, to participate in screening exercise or Primary Election.
Addressing journalists on Monday at the court premises, counsel to the plaintiffs, Razak Okesiji argued that, the duo of Dorego and Adeleye never resigned their appointments with the Ogun state government before contesting the House of Assembly Primaries.
“We are here on pre-election matter. We are to take up the cases involving Mr. Yusuf Adejojo and Mr. Solomon Osho. The first respondents whose names have been allegedly submitted to INEC did not resign their appointments and were handpicked.
“The two of them are contesting the primary election that was conducted by the party. In the two cases, the aspirants chosen did not resign their appointments because they work with the Ogun state government and they were still in service as at the date of the primaries. And we have exhibited their day slips and other evidence to show that they are still in service as at the date of the primary.
“The plaintiff (Osho) having paid for and obtained the expression of Interest and nomination form, screened and cleared to contest the primary election of the All Progressive Congress to the State House of Assembly Candidate of Remo North Constituency Ogun State, and having scored the highest vote in the primary is rightfully entitled by the guideline and constitution of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to have his name forwarded to INEC (3rd defendant) as the duly nominated candidate of the APC representing Remo North Constituency in the 2023 general election” the summon states.”
Reacting, counsel to the 1st and 4th respondents, Hon. Wale Abeeb Ajayi, said he had filed a preliminary objections challenging the suit, saying the matter is an abuse of court processes.
“Well, the matter has been adjourned for our preliminary objections. We are objecting to the suit in the first instance, and we have also filed our defense to the plaintiff’s claim. And so, we are set, the court has given us a date for our preliminary objections because we have a feeling that, the matter ought not to be in court in the first instance. We await the hearing date for both the preliminary objections and maybe substantive hearing of the matter.”
Justice Oguntoyinbo has fixed July 28, 2022 as date for the hearing of preliminary objections filed by the defendants.