By Olufemi Ayandokun Esq.
The 1st-3rd Respondents in Appeal No. CA/AK/81/2019 and CA/AK/81/2019 decided on 06/04/2019 have taken note of the news making the rounds that the Akure Division of The Court of Appeal therein affirmed that Sen. Nurudeen Adeleke was eligible to contest the recently held gubernatorial elections in OSUN State. The Court of Appeal made no such pronouncement.
The Appeal bordered on whether the Federal High Court sitting at Osogbo was right to have dismissed the preliminary objection raised by Sen. Nurudeen Adeleke in the Suit challenging his eligibility. It was his contention that the Suit was not filed within 14 days of the Party Primaries nominating him. He contends s.285(9) Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended by the 4th Alteration Act was not complied with. He maintained that stance even in the face of s.31(5) of the Electoral Act 2010(as amended) which allowed “any person“ to file a Suit in challenge eligibility of a candidate who seeks elective office to govern others.
The Court of Appeal saw the matter differently. The Court allowed the Appeal by Sen. Nurudeen Adeleke and struck out the Suit before the Federal High Court sitting at Osogbo. It certainly made no pronouncements whatsoever on the eligibility or otherwise of Sen. Nurudeen Adeleke.
For a fact, the court of Appeal did not consider the merit of the substantive case, it only decided the Preliminary Objection which was overruled by the trial court. The substantive suit pending at the Federal High Court was not heard at all.
The 1st-3rd Respondents feel strongly about the Court of Appeal, Akure Division decision as it is a Constitutional matter with critical bearing on the Rule of Law and the time hallowed doctrine of Separation of Powers that has overtime made for stability in sustainable democracies the world over. It is the strong view of the 1st-3rd Respondents that no matter how seemingly absurd a piece of legislation is it remains within the exclusive province of the Lawmaker to amend same. Since it is a constitutional matter, the 1st-3rd Respondents Will take further steps necessary.
The 1st-3rd Respondents urge on all and sundry to disregard the gross, wanton and deliberate distortion and misrepresentation of the views of the Noble Bench of The Court of Appeal, Akure as expressed in the said Judgment. Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the pain and embarrassment the said political and mischevious misrepresentation might probably have occasioned to their Lordships is quite regrettable. I am sure Certified True Copy of the judgement is available at Court of Appeal Akure Division awaiting verification by diligent journalists.
Olufemi Ayandokun Esq.
Counsel to the 1st-3rd Respondents in CA/AK/81/2019 and CA/AK/106/2019.
Dated: April 7, 2019.