Niyi Akande, Osogbo
A counsel to the respondents in Appeal No. CA/AK/81/2019 and CA/AK/81/2019 decided by a Court of Appeal sitting in Akure last Saturday, Barrister Olufemi Ayandokun has stated that the court did not affirm Senator Ademola Adekele’s eligibility to contest Osun State governorship election.
In a statement which was made to pressmen in Osogbo, Osun State on Monday, barrister Olufemi urged all and sundry to disregard “gross, wanton and deliberate distortion and misrepresentation of the views of the Noble Bench.”
He noted that the Appeal bordered on whether the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo was right to have dismissed the Preliminary Objection raised by Adeleke’s counsel, Barrister Natheniel Oke, SAN, in the suit challenging his eligibility.
Ayandokun explained further that the contention was that the Suit was not filed within 14 days of the party primaries that produced Ademola Adeleke as the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, adding that Section 285(9) Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended by the 4th Alteration Act was also not complied with.
He however maintained that Section 31(5) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) allowed “any person“ to file a Suit to challenge eligibility of a candidate who seeks elective office to govern others.
The lawyer revealed that the Appeal Court saw the matter differently, saying: “the Court allowed the Appeal by Sen. Nurudeen Adeleke and struck out the Suit before the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo.”
Urging the public to disregard alleged misrepresentation of the position of the court, Olufemi noted: “It (the court) certainly made no pronouncements whatsoever on the eligibility or otherwise of Sen. Nurudeen Adeleke.”
“For a fact, the court of Appeal did not consider the merit of the substantive case, it only decided the Preliminary Objection which was overruled by the trial court. The substantive suit pending at the Federal High Court was not heard at all.”
“The 1st-3rd Respondents feel strongly about the Court of Appeal, Akure Division decision as it is a Constitutional matter with critical bearing on the Rule of Law and the time hallowed doctrine of Separation of Powers that has overtime made for stability in sustainable democracies the world over.”
“It is the strong view of the 1st-3rd Respondents that no matter how seemingly absurd a piece of legislation is it remains within the exclusive province of the Lawmaker to amend same. Since it is a constitutional matter, the 1st-3rd Respondents Will take further steps necessary.”
“The 1st-3rd Respondents urge on all and sundry to disregard the gross, wanton and deliberate distortion and misrepresentation of the views of the Noble Bench of The Court of Appeal, Akure as expressed in the said Judgment.”
“Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the pain and embarrassment the said political and mischevious misrepresentation might probably have occasioned to their Lordships is quite regrettable. I am sure Certified True Copy of the judgement is available at Court of Appeal Akure Division awaiting verification by diligent journalists,”he noted.