The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has on Friday affirmed Gboyega Oyetola and his running mate, Benedict Alabi, as the authentic candidates of the All Progressives Congress in the July 16, 2022 governorship election in Osun State.
The appeal with no: CA/ABJ/CV/1099/2022 was between Adegboyega Oyetola & Anor v PDP & Ors.
The Appeal Court held that the outcome of a governorship primary was a collective decision of a party, through its congress, that could not be rendered illegal by constitutional challenge or deformity of any officer of the party.
Following, the court upheld that the defects in the letter notwithstanding, forwarding the nomination and sponsorship of Oyetola and his deputy to the Independent National Electoral Commission, the fact that they emerged from a valid primary could not be ruled out.
Thus, the defect of Buni signing the letter conveying the nomination of the appellants cannot be a ground to reject the results of the party’s primary election.
Furthermore, the appellate court questioned Justice Nwite for failing to consider a classical precedent judgment delivered by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in Jegede v INEC before arriving at his judgment.
On the immunity of Governor Mai Buni, who submitted the nomination of the appellant to INEC, the court held that Buni could not be sued as the immunity enjoyed by him guaranteed him against civil and criminal suits.
The Court of Appeal also awarded the cost of N200,000 to the appellant.
Earlier, The Peoples Democratic Party had sued Governor Buni and four others challenging the nomination of Oyetola and his running mate as the duly nominated candidates of the APC.
On September 30, 2022, the Federal High Court, Abuja, nullified the nomination of Oyetola and his deputy governorship candidate, Benedict Alabi.
Justice Emeka Nwite agreeing with the submissions of the plaintiff’s counsel had declared as null and void the nomination of Oyetola and Alabi by the APC.
The judgment was predicated on the ground that Governor Buni who submitted their names to INEC violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82 (3) of the Electoral Act, 2022.