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Court nullifies Gov. Oyetola’s nomination, Declares Mai Buni’s actions as APC Chairman a nullity

The Federal High Court today, 30th September 2022, nullified the nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his Deputy Governorship candidate, Benedict Alabi on the ground that Governor Mai Mala Buni who submitted their names to INEC violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

On 7th April 2022, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju, SAN had commenced a suit with No: FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022 Between PDP v Governor Mai Mala Buni & 4 Ors. at the Federal High Court challenging the nomination and sponsorship of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his deputy as the duly nominated candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In challenging the competence of the suit, Mr Kunle Adegoke, SAN who represented Governor Isiaka Oyetola contended, amongst other grounds that the Plaintiff did not have the locus to commence the action and that the suit was statute-barred.

In arguing to the contrary, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju, SAN leading O.M Atoyebi, SAN and Ademola Abimbola submitted that the Plaintiff rightly commenced the suit under Section 285(14) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

In its judgment, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court agreed with the submissions of the Plaintiff’s counsel and declared as null and void, the nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and Benedict Alabi by the APC. The court also held that Governor Mai Mala Buni acted in contravention of the provision of Section 183 of the Constitution when he held dual executive positions as the Governor of Yobe State and the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of APC.

The court held that the steps or decisions taken by Governor Mai Mala Buni, including forwarding the names of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and Benedict Alabi to INEC, amounted to a nullity in law.

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