Ondo Court nullifies APC primary, orders fresh election

By Friday Omosola

A Federal High Court, sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Thursday nullified the candidacy of Mr Adegboyega Adefarati as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Akoko South-East/ South West Federal Constituency in the forthcoming general election.

The court presided over by Justice Demi Ajayi, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a fresh election within seven days.

Victor Ategbole, a House of Representatives aspirant of the party, had earlier approached the court to cancel the primary won by Adegboyega Adefarati on the grounds that it did not hold at the designated venue but was held in Akure, the state capital, out of the federal constituency.

In a suit filed by Mr Ategbole, the winner of the primary, Adefarati, the APC, the national chairman of the party, the state chairman, Mr Ade Adetimehin and the Independent National Electoral Commission were defendants.

The decision of the court was based on the out-of-court settlement agreed upon by all the parties involved in the matter.

In a copy of written terms of settlement from the court signed by the plaintiffs, defendants and their counsels, obtained by The Trumpet, all the parties agreed that the election should hold within seven days and within the federal constituency.

The term read, “It is hereby agreed between the plaintiff on the one part and the first, second, third and fourth defendants on the other part, that the present suit as constituted be discontinued in the interest of the All Progressives Congress.

“It is further agreed that the second defendant, the All Progressives Congress, shall within seven days from the date of pronouncing this terms of settlement as the judgment of this court in this suit or so soon thereafter, write officially to inform the fifth defendant of its readiness to conduct a fresh APC primary for the Akoko South-East and Akoko South-West federal constituency at the approved venue of the primaries, being St. Patrick’s Secondary School, Iwaro-Oka, Akoko South-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, within the federal constituency.

“The second defendant shall invite the appropriate officers of the fifth defendant to monitor the proposed fresh primaries for Akoko South-East/Akoko South-West Federal Constituency.

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“That the foregoing terms shall be the judgment of this honourable court in this suit. Parties to bear their respective costs.

“In witness whereof, the plaintiff on the one part and the first, second, third, fourth and fifth defendants on the other part, have either by themselves or through their respective legal counsel, set their hands and seals herein.”

Speaking, the plaintiff’s counsel, Olusola Oke, said that all the involved parties agreed to the position of the court in the interest of the party.

Olusola said the Federal High Court entered consent judgments based on terms of settlement executed and filed by all the parties.

“By the tenor of the said judgments, the APC shall within seven days from today write to notify INEC of its readiness to conduct a fresh primary election of the party for Akoko South-East/Akoko South-West federal constituency at St. Patrick Secondary School, Iwaro-Oka. Parties agreed to this position in the overall interest of the APC.”

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