Ondo Senator writes court over delayed judgment in suit against Agboola Ajayi

By Friday Omosola

The incumbent senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Nicholas Tofowomo, has penned the Federal High Court in Akure, to demand justice on the pre-election case he instituted seeking the disqualification of a former deputy governor of the state, Agboola Ajayi, as the senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2023.

Tofomowo bemoaned the delay in delivering judgment upon the conclusion of all the relevant processes.

The Trumpet had earlier reported that the senator lost his return bid on the platform of the PDP to Ajayi, who returned to the party from Zenith Labour Party where he contested the last governorship election.

Ajayi scored 78 votes to defeat Tofomowo, who polled 74 votes at the senatorial primaries held in May.

The senator is challenging the eligibility of Ajayi in court concerning his academic qualifications.

In the suit filed on 5 July 2022, by the plaintiff’s lawyer, Femi Emodamori, Ajayi was the first defendant, and PDP and the electoral commission, INEC, were the second and third defendants respectively.

In the suit, the senator asserted that Ajayi did not meet the constitutional prerequisites for contesting the 2023 general election as included in the interpretation and application of Section 66(1)(i) of the Nigerian Constitution and Section 29(5) & (6) of the Electoral Act 2022 as well as other relevant laws.

Tofomowo’s letter is coming on the failure of the court to deliver judgment after concluding the hearing in the case after the parties have adopted their written addresses for judgment since August.

The senator’s lawyer, Emodamori in a reminder letter dated 12th October and addressed to the Station Registrar of the Federal High Court, Akure Judicial Division, said the court has not informed even though the cement date even though it has till 19th of this month under the Constitution to deliver its verdict.

“The Suit is a Pre-Election matter relating to the candidacy of the People’s Democratic Party for Ondo South Senatorial District.

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“It was commenced by Originating Summons, and parties adopted their respective written addresses at the hearing of the case on 19th July 2022, after his Lordship, Hon. Justice R. M Aikawa tentatively adjourned the judgment on 30th August 2022 for judgement.

“However, up until now, no date has been communicated to the parties for the judgement. By virtue of Section 294 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), every court is expected to deliver its judgement in writing not later than 90 days after the conclusion of the evidence and final addresses by the parties. The 90 days period in the instant case would expire on or about 19th October 2022.

“Apart from the above constitutional provision and the understandably huge public interest in the case, it is most desirable for all the parties to know the outcome of the case promptly, for them to effectively prepare and execute their political campaign plans for the Ondo South Senatorial District.

“Consequently, we hereby respectfully request that you kindly bring this letter to the attention of his Noble Lordship, Hon. Justice R.M Aikawa, for necessary action.”

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