By ABDULWAHAB ABDULLAH & OAMEN AREGUAMEN
An aspirant in today’s local government election in Lagos State and Vice Chairman of Kosofe local government of Lagos state, Mr. Oluwasegun Aka-Bashorun yesterdat prayed an Ikeja High Court to nullify the nomination of one Afolabi Shofola as the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the poll.
This was coming as the Lagos Chief Judge; Justice Inumidun Akande sworn in the Local Government Election Tribunals and Local Government Election Appeal Tribunal, with a call that members of the tribunal should abide by their oath of office and justify the confidence reposed in them.
Akande while urging them to live up to expectation, said they should be honest, steadfast, fair, upright and transparent in adjudicating on matters that would be brought before them without fear or favour.
In his court action filed in the court Registry yesterday, Aka-Bashorun said the nomination of Shofola was contrary to the provisions of Article 21.5 of the constitution of the ACN which mandated the party to conduct primary election for the contest in the local government election coming up today across the state.
Joined as defendants in the suit are the Action Congress OF Nigeria, CAN, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, and Afolabi Shofola.
In his brief, he argued that the failure of the party to conduct primary election for selection of its candidates for the local government in Lagos State “constitutes a breach of Article 21.1 of the Constitution of the Action Congress of Nigeria.
He therefore prayed for an order nullifying the purported nomination of the 3rd defendant (Shofola) as the Chairmanship candidate of the party in the Saturday poll.
He also asked for an order “compelling the party to conduct primary election for all candidates that submitted nomination forms for the forthcoming local government election scheduled for Saturday 22nd October, 2011 in Lagos State.
Aka-Bashorun stated in his affidavit in support of motion that he collected forms for the poll and paid necessary fees but the party rather than conduct primary to pick right candidate to contest the poll selected Shofola and that no primary election conducted as stipulated by the party’s constitution.
Meanwhile, the state Chief Judge called on the tribunal members to see their appointment as the confident reposed in them to deliver justice without fear or favour.
The Judge who urged them to put the interest of the state first while discharging their duties, said their appointment into the tribunal was based on their antecedents and individual merit both as retired judicial officers, serving judicial officers, serving magistrates and legal practitioners.
“I have no doubt whatsoever, that you are aware of the enormity of the responsibility entrusted in you by this state assignment and the expectation of members of the general public as you settle down to work.
The two local government election tribunal was headed by retired Justice F.A Owobiyi while the Appeal Tribunal would be chaired by Justice O.O Oke with Justices S.B.A Candide-Johnson, M.A Dada, H.A.O Abiru as member and O.A Oshodi as a member.