A Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to remove the name of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) candidate for 2023 governorship election, Barrister Biyi Otegbeye from its website.
The order came following a suit filed by the Ogun State chapter of Labour Party against the INEC and African Democratic Congress, ADC with Barrister Biyi Otegbeye as the 3rd defendant.
Delivering its judgement on Friday, Justice Adetayo Aluko, affirmed that the primary was held in violation of the Electoral Act, while noting that the candidature of Biyi Otegbeye is against provisions of the law.
It could be recalled that Labour Party in an originating summon filed at the Federal High Court has sought for
(1) Whether having regards to combined effect of paragraph 15 of the Third schedule to the 1979 constitution and Section and Section 84 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, a political party can validly conduct primaries of substitution primaries without validly inviting the 1st defendant for the purpose of it to monitor the said the primaries or substitution primaries.
(2) whether having regards to combined effect of paragraph 15 of the Third schedule to the 1999 constitution and Section and Section 84 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, the 1st defendant can accept and act upon a purported list of candidates submitted to it by a political party from a purported primaries or substitution primaries which the 1st defendant was not invited nor monitored
Granting the prayers of the plaintiff, Justice Adetayo Aluko ordered INEC to remove Barrister Biyi Otegbeye from its website citing infractions with electoral act and the constitution.
The court said it was against the act for INEC not to have monitored the primary that saw the emergence of Biyi Otegbeye as ADC guber candidate.
Commenting on the judgement, Barrister Monday Mawah, counsel to the plaintiff said the judgement is a well deserved one and victory for rule of law/ democracy .
He said his client had sought for an order disqualifying the 3rd defendant and every other candidate that emerged
from the purported primaries from participating in the General Election scheduled to hold on the 25th of Feb and 11h March 2023 respectively for failure to comply with paragraph 15 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution and Section B4(3) of the Electoral Act 2022, a prayer fully granted by the court.