By Rotimi Ojomoyela, ADO-EKITI
A Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, dismissed a suit challenging the candidacy of the Governor-elect, Mr Biodun Oyebanji in the June 18 governorship election.
An aspirant in the January 27 governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Kayode Ojo, had filed a suit, seeking the nullification of Oyebanji’s election as the candidate of the party.
The court upheld the preliminary objection of the counsel to Oyebanji, Mr Kabir Akingbolu, that the writ of summons and statement of claims of Ojo were defective, which dealt a fatal blow to the case.
The court, in a two hour judgment, delivered by the presiding judge, Justice Babs Kuewumi, threw out Ojo’s case and agreed with Oyebanji’s counsel that the discrepancies in the originating processes had rendered the case academic.
Justice Kuewumi held that the names of counsel on the Plaintiff’s originating summons and statement and the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, stamp ran contrary which is against the law rendering the suit defective and incompetent.
While the name on the NBA stamp of one of the lawyers of Ojo reads “Moroof Bolanle,” the one that appears on the list of lawyers submitted for the case reads “Olayinka Bolanle.”
Justice Kuewumi, in his verdict, said: “The signatures on the writ of summons and the statement of claim are not the same. There is no jurisdiction, there is no case. I will make copies of my judgment available to counsel tomorrow.
“Having ruled on the issue of the objection, there is no further judgment to deliver; the Plaintiff is free to approach the higher court for appeal.”
Ojo rejects judgement, heads to Appeal Court
Meanwhile, the APC aspirant, Mr Ojo said he will appeal the judgement saying “the judge wrongly dismissed our case based on a technicality.”
Ojo said: “Though we believe in the sanctity of the court, the judge erred in his judgement and we know the appeal court will correct the error.
“We want to appeal to Ekiti people and our teeming supporters to be patient, that the race is not for the swift, it is not a sprint, but a marathon; that eventually justice will be served. We will meet at appeal.”