The Federal High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Tuesday, ordered the lawmaker representing the Owo /Ose federal constituency, Bode Ayorinde, to stop parading himself as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the forthcoming general election.
The court, however, confirmed Sadiq Obanoyen as the authentic PDP candidate for true election having won the party’s primary election and ordered the National Secretariat of the PDP to substitute Ayorinde’ s name with Obanoyen at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s candidate.
Obanoyen had approached the court following the removal of his name as the winner of the primaries conducted by the party in Owo in October, 2018, having scored 107 votes against 73 votes polled by Ayorinde, while the party sent Ayorinde’s name to the INEC as the party’s candidate for the election, disqualifying Obanoyen.
Irked by the development, Obanoyen instituted a suit against the party, Ayorinde, the party Chairman in the state, Mr Clement Faboyede, and the INEC as the first, second, third and fourth defendants respectively.
Counsel to the third defendant ( Ayorinde), Mr Tolu Babaleye, had prayed the court to uphold the disqualification of the plaintiff on the grounds that the Obanoyen did not resign his appointment as a legislative aide to the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekeremadu before obtaining the form to contest the primary election, saying the action was against the party’s election guidelines.
But the plaintiff’s legal team, led by Mr Remi Olatubora, however, presented the evidence showing that plaintiff resigned his appointment before participating in the primary
However, the presiding Judge, Justice Abdul Dogo, in his judgement struck out the prayers of the first and third defendants for lack of merit.
The court also held that the plaintiff duly tendered his resignation letter before obtaining the form and thereby qualified to contest the election.
The Judge ruled, “The first defendant ( PDP) is hereby ordered to forward the name of the plaintiff to the fourth defendant as the candidate of the first defendant in the election.
“The third defendant ( Ayorinde) is hereby restrained from parading himself as the candidate of the first defendant in the election.
“The fourth defendant is hereby restrained from recognising the third defendant as the candidate of the first defendant in the election.”
Reacting to the judgement, counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Remi Olatubora commended the court, saying the judgment confirmed that the judiciary was still working in the country,
However, the counsel to Ayorinde, Mr Tolu Babaleye said he would need to consult his client to determine the next line of action on the matter.
Ayorinde is the incumbent member of the House of Representatives, representing Owo/Ose Federal Constituency of Ondo State.
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