By Bayo Ogungbe
A Federal High Court in Abuja granted the request of Osun Governor-elect, Gboyega Oyetola and his deputy, Benedict Alabi, to be joined as defendants in a suit challenging the outcome of the last governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The suit was filed by one of the aggrieved APC governorship aspirants, Kunle Adegoke.
Justice I. E. Ekwo granted the application filed by Oyetola and Alabi after their counsel, Bankole Komolafe drew the court’s attention to it when the case came up for hearing on Wednesday.
Lawyers to other parties in the suit did not oppose the application, which the judge granted.
The APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were the defendants in the matter until Oyetola and Alabi’s application was granted.
The plaintiff had prayed the court to nullify the APC primary, which produced Oyetola as the party’s candidate, citing alleged irregularities.
Adegoke is argued that the conduct of APC’s primary in Osun violated the nation’s Constitution, the Electoral Act, 2010 and relevant provisions of the APC constitution, including the Regulation for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries of the INEC.
He said, in a supporting affidavit, that the “direct method” adopted by the party, which allowed all members to vote in the primary “was a departure from the extant 2014 guidelines of the party”.
The plaintiff stated that contrary to the development in Osun, “the indirect method of primary was used in Edo State in 2016, Ondo State in 2016, Anambra State in 2017 and Ekiti State in May 2018”.
The case has now been adjourned till December 13 for hearing.