.APC

By Innocent Anaba, LAGOS

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, dismissed the suit seeking to disqualify the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for Ikorodu West in the Lagos House of Assembly, Mr Abiodun Aro.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo held that the suit by the plaintiff/applicant, Mr Oluwatosin Onamade, was statute barred and that the internal affairs of a political party were not justiciable.

The judge decided Onamade’s suit, which joined the APC, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and Aro, as 1st to 3rd defendants.

Onamade sought Aro’s disqualification as the APC flag bearer in the 2023 general election for Lagos State House of Assembly, Ikorodu Constituency II.

He claimed that Aro was not an APC member, adding that he, Onamade, be declared as the candidate.

But Aro, through his counsel, Yusuf Adebayo, had in his preliminary objection challenged the suit and the court’s jurisdiction to hear and determine the same.

He argued that the plaintiff’s suit was hinged on the determination of Aro’s membership status in the APC, adding that the Supreme Court had decided in a long line of cases that issues of party members are within the domestic affairs of a party which is non-justiciable.

He prayed the court for an order dismissing and/or striking out the suit in its entirety.

Justice Oweibo upheld Adebayo’s argument.

The court held: “A careful examination of the second defendant’s affidavits which state that the election result was announced on the 25th of May and this action was instituted on the 5th of July which is outside 14 days prescribed by electoral Act. Therefore this action is statute-barred.

“I agree with the counsel to the plaintiff that the internal affairs of a political party are not justiciable.

“I, therefore, find and hold that this present action before me is statute-barred and not justiciable. On a final note, the whole suit is hereby dismissed.”

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