PDP South West Congress: Senator commends reconciliation committee 

By Dayo Johnson

lawmaker representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, yesterday, dragged a former deputy governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, to a Federal High Court, sitting in Akure, seeking his disqualification as the 2023 Senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, for the district, over his alleged controversial academic records.

Agboola Ajayi was joined in the suit with the PDP and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as defendants, respectively.

Tofowomo, in the suit, number: FHC/CS/AK/83/2022, said Ajayi did not meet the constitutional requirements for contesting the 2023 general elections, as contained in the interpretation and application of Section 66(1)(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Section 29(5) & (6) of the Electoral Act, 2022, as well as other relevant laws.

The lawmaker, who came second in the PDP Senatorial primary, through his lawyer, Mr. Femi Emodamori, claimed that the court should determine if, together with the totality of the facts before the court, the 1st Defendant (Agboola) did not present false information and/or forged certificate(s) in his INEC Form EC9, and the other documents attached thereto, which he submitted to the 3rd Defendant (INEC) as the candidate of the 2nd Defendant for Ondo South Senatorial District in the 2023 General Election.

The senator said: “I verily believe that the 1st Defendant (Agboola) lied and/or swore to false information when he stated in Exhibit FEE4 (the Affidavit For Correction of Date of Birth which he submitted to the 3rd Defendant) that he was issued the 2004 WASSC (Exhibit FEE3) No. NGWASSCS 5529745 and claimed “that in the said Certificate my date of birth was mistakenly printed as December 8, 1980, instead of 24th September 1968.

“Whether, having regard to Section 29 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the 1st Defendant (Agboola) should be disqualified as the candidate of the 2nd Defendant (PDP) for Ondo South Senatorial District in the 2023 General Elections.”

He asked the court for “a declaration that having regard to S.66(1)(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), S.29(5) of the Electoral Act, 2022 and judicial authorities which include the Supreme Court decisions in MODIBBO V USMAN (2020) 3 NWLR (PT. 1712) 470 and PDP V. DEGI-EREMIENYO (2021) 9 NWLR (PT. 1781) 274.

“An Order of this Honourable Court disqualifying the 1st Defendant as the candidate of the 2nd Defendant for Ondo South Senatorial District in the 2023 General Elections.

“An Order of this Honourable Court declaring the Plaintiff, having scored the 2nd highest number of votes in the 2nd Defendant’s Primary Election for Ondo South Senatorial District held on May 23, 2022, as the candidate of the 2nd Defendant for the said Senatorial District in the 2023 General Elections.” 

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