Suit seeking disqualification of Ogun PDP gov candidate, running mate, misguided, desperate effort in futility – Law Professor
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Suit seeking disqualification of Ogun PDP gov candidate, running mate, misguided, desperate effort in futility – Law Professor

Sept. 14, 2022

Suit seeking disqualification of Ogun PDP gov candidate, running mate, misguided, desperate effort in futility – Law Professor

Admin By Adewale Adewale
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A Professor of Law and an Egba High Chief, Professor Yemi Oke, has faulted the suit seeking the disqualification of the Ogun governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ladi Adebutu and his running mate, Adekunle Akinlade, describing same as misguided and a desperate effort in futility.

Although, the Bada-Baamofin of Egbaland did not mention either the PDP or the APC in his analysis, he was obviously responding to a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ogun State, against the candidature of Adebutu and Akinlade.

Ogun APC had approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, seeking the disqualification of Adebutu and Akinlade over alleged breach of the electoral Act, 2022.

The APC had argued that both Adebutu and Akinlade’s nominations ran contract to section 35 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Section 35 of the Electoral Act reads, “"Where a candidate knowingly allows himself to be nominated by more than one political party or in more than one constituency, his nomination shall be void".

Reacting to the suit, the Professor of Law explained that same was wrongly premised on Section 35 of the Electoral Act and section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Contrary to the position of the APC, Professor Oke explained that the Electoral Act 2022 has not abolished nomination of an aspirant by another political party where his or her aspiration fails in the other political party.

Akinlade had contested the governorship primaries of the APC with Governor Dapo Abiodun and four others, before dumping the party for the PDP where he was nominated as a running mate to Adebutu.

Oke said, “I'm bemused at the ludicrous futility of suits of certain political actors seeking to nullify nomination of candidates of certain political parties who had been validly, legally and constitutionally substituted.

“The misguided suits are wrongly premised on Section 35 of the Electoral Act and section 177(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“These provisions are very clear to warrant any colorated interpretation. The word "CANDIDATE" should never be interpreted to mean "ASPIRANT".

“Until nominated by a political party, an aspirant is not a candidate.

“Sections 115(1)(d) on nomination of Candidates by Political Parties also become relevant here, and should be read in consonance with the above provisions.

“There have been concerns about the ability of aspirants who are (or might not be) successful in seeking nomination as candidates of political parties or who wishes to be substituted as candidates of another political party.

“For the avoidance doubts, the Electoral Act 2022 has not abolished nomination of an aspirant by another political party where his or her aspiration fails in the other political party.

“Sections 35 and 115(1)(d) of the Electoral Act, 2022 only forbid a "candidate" (of a political party) and not an "aspirant", from being nominated for election (if already nominated by a political party).

“The law forbids that a candidate is nominated and signs as the nominated candidates of two or more political parties.

“It is, therefore futile and needless dissipation of energy and political capital to attempt hurl or put an obstacle on the nomination of a candidate simply because he or she had previously "aspired" or contested as an "ASPIRANT" for the same or different office in another political party or constituency.

“The only ground is where a person has been sponsored as "CANDIDATE" of a political party for an elective office and nominated as candidate of another political party for the same of different elective office.

“A candidate who was a mere aspirant (who contested and lost) in the primaries of a political party CAN BE VALIDLY nominated, adopted, and sponsored by another political party for the same or different elective office he had previously aspired for under another political party.

“That is the correct position of the Electoral Act, 2022 and all relevant provisions of the Constitution.

“Therefore, attempts to seek nullification of a Governorship or Deputy Governorship candidate (vice-versa) on the misplaced and misinterpreted application of section 35 of the Electoral Act and section 117(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Amended, is at best a desperate effort in futility. IT DEFINITELY WILL YIELD NO POSITIVE OUTCOME.

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