Supreme Court Upholds Adeleke’s Victory As PDP Governorship Candidate
Oyedotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant, had taken Adeleke before a federal high court in Osogbo, seeking to be declared as the PDP candidate for the July 16 governorship election in Osun state.
Two factions of the party had, on March 8, conducted separate governorship primaries featuring Adeleke and Babayemi.
Babayemi was declared the winner of the primary held at the Children and Women Development Centre in Osogbo, while the primary held at Osogbo City Stadium and backed by the PDP national working committee produced Adeleke.
In a list of candidates later released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Adeleke was recognised as the duly-elected candidate for the PDP.
In a judgment delivered on May 18, Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, the judge of the federal high court, held that the primary which produced Babayemi is null and void.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Babayemi filed a suit at the court of appeal, Akure, challenging the judgment of the lower court and seeking to be declared as the PDP governorship candidate.
The court of appeal, in its judgment on July 20, upheld the verdict of the high court and consequently dismissed Babayemi’s appeal.
At the resumed hearing of the appeal at the supreme court on Thursday, a five-member panel of justices held that it lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit, having been filed out of time.
Adebayo Adelodun, counsel to the appellant, had withdrawn the earlier notice of appeal which was filed within the time and replaced it with another filed 15 days after the judgment of the court of appeal.
But the panel held that section 285(11) of the constitution stipulates that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Consequently, the panel led by Amina Augie dismissed the appeal.