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May 29, 2024

Ondo poll: Court dismisses Jimoh Ibrahim’s suit

'If I leave APC, I’ll announce publicly,' Jimoh Ibrahim denies anti-party allegations

A Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by Sen. Jimoh Ibrahim (APC-Ondo) challenging the emergence of Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State as All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate in the April 20 governorship primaries.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a ruling on Wednesday, dismissed the suit after Ibrahim’s counsel, Olakunle Lawal, withdrew the suit.

Justice Ekwo said that after Ibrahim’s notice of withdrawal dated May 27 but filed May 28, and which was not opposed by the defendants, “an order is hereby made dismissing this suit as parties have joined issues with one another.”

In the suit marked: FHC)ABJ/CS/588/2024 marked: FHC)ABJ/CS/588/2024, Ibrahim sued APC, Aiyedatiwa and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INE) as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

The suit was filed by his lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN.

Ibrahim, an aspirant in the primaries and a senator representing Ondo South at the Senate, prayed the court to set aside the April 20 governorship poll of the party that produced Gov. Aiyedatiwa as its candidate.

He urged the court to declare that Aiyedatiwa is not the valid candidate of APC by virtue of the party’s non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the regulations and guidelines of the political party in the conduct of the poll.

He, therefore, sought an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the governor from parading himself as the APC’s governorship candidate for the November general election in Ondo State.

Ibrahim, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs, equally prayed the court for a mandatory injunction compelling INEC to delist the names of APC and Aiyedatiwa from amongst the list of political parties and governorship candidates for the state’s governorship election, among others.

The APC’s lawyer, Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, had, on May 14, informed the court that the party had written a letter to the Chief Judge of FHC for the matter to be transferred to the Akure division.

The senior lawyer, who wondered why Ibrahim filed the suit in Abuja, told the court that a letter had been written to the Chief Judge, Justice Tsoho, seeking for the transfer of the matter to Akure division of the court.

He said they are awaiting the CJ’s response.

Counsel for the governor, Bode Olanipekun, SAN, and INEC’s lawyer, Charlesi Edosanwan, confirmed Oyetibo’s position in a letter to the CJ.

But Uche said writing a letter was a non-issue as the letter was not before the court.

The judge, who said the issue of the letter cannot be discussed in the court since the letter was not before him, ordered the defendants to file their defence in the suit.

He adjourned the matter until today for hearing.

Meanwhile after Lawal informed the court of the notice of withdrawal on Wednesday, the defendants acknowledged the receipt of the application.

Though Bukar, Olanipekun and Edosanwan did not oppose the application for withdrawal, Edosanwan prayed the court to strike out the matter.