A senatorial aspirant under the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Oyo State, Mr. Olatunji Haastrup Adewale has approached a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan praying the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject the senator representing Oyo South, Mr. Soji Akanbi, as the candidate of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Other aspirants of the party, who were joined as plaintiffs in the suit number FHC/IB/CS/113/2018: Aderemi Olatunji Olajide; Olasunbo Olalekan Olakunle; Seun Segun Akinborewa; Abass Alesinloye Kolawole Olabimtan and Hon. Olufemi Josiah, also prayed the court to, in the same manner, reject the ADC’s nomination of Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, Adeyemi Adekunle Yakub, Gaphar Ojetola and Abiola Ahmed Akindipe, as candidates for Ibadan North West/South West Federal Constituency, Ibadan North East 2, Ibadan North 1 and Ibadan North West respectively.
The party had, in the last few weeks, been enmeshed in what many of the aspirants described as impunity and imposition of candidates.
This has made some of the gubernatorial aspirants of the party to approach a Federal High Court in Abuja, urging it to reject the candidature of Senator Olufemi Lanlehin as the gubernatorial candidate of the party due to what the aspirants described as an imposition.
Other defendants alongside Senator Akanbi in the suit jointly instituted by Olatunji Haastrup Adewale, Aderemi Olatunji E. Olajide, Olasunbo Olalekan Olakunle, Seun Segun Akinborewa, Abass Alesinloye Kolawole Olabimtan, and Hon. Olufemi Josiah, are the ADC National Chairman of the party, Chief Ralph Nwosu, National Vice Chairman, Dr. Dele Ajadi, National Secretary, Alhaji Saidi Baba Abdullahi and National legal adviser, Mr. Peter Oyewole, who doubles as the Chairman, Oyo state primary screening committee of ADC.
Also joined as defendants are the State Chairman, Dr. Ahmed Ayinla, Mr. Wasiu Olatubosun; Adeyemi Adekunle Yakub; Gaphar Ojetola; Abiola Ahmed Akindipe; Chief Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja; Chief Michael Koleoso; Dr. Busari Adebisi; Chief Layiwola Olakojo and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The contentious constituencies, according to the plaintiffs in the suit filed by their counsel Olusola A. Dare, are the Oyo South Senatorial District; Ibadan North West/Ibadan South West constituency, Ibadan North East II; Ibadan North West and Ibadan North I constituencies respectively.
The plaintiffs are seeking court’s determination on whether the ADC can nominate a candidate or submit the name of a candidate to the INEC as its candidates to contest Senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly elections without complying with the mandatory provisions of the Section 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), Article 20 of the constitution of the ADC and guidelines for party screening and primary elections for the 2019 general elections?
They are also asking the court to determine if the said Section 87 and Article 20 of the constitution of ADC has not been violated and discountenanced especially if the INEC and the 5th defendant (ADC Legal Adviser, Peter Oyewole) go ahead in fielding them for the 2019 elections?
Towards this end, the plaintiffs prayed the court to make a declaration that the ADC cannot nominate a candidate or submit name of any person to the INEC as its nominated candidate for the Oyo South Senatorial district; Ibadan North West/South West Federal Constituency; State Assembly for Ibadan North East 2, Ibadan North West and Ibadan North 1 state constituencies of Oyo state without complying with the provision of the said Section 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Article 20 of the constitution of the ADC 2018 (as amended) and guidelines for party screening and primary elections for the 2019 general elections.
They are also seeking a declaration that the name of candidates submitted for Oyo South Senatorial district, House of Representative federal constituency and Ibadan North 1 state constituency house of Assembly, Ibadan North East and Ibadan North West State constituency 2, Ibadan North West state constituency be discountenanced.
The plaintiffs, while praying the court to direct INEC to discountenance or reject name of any candidate submitted to it by the 1st-6th and 12th-15th defendants as the candidates for the affected senatorial, federal and state constituencies, also prayed for an order of injunction to restrain the INEC, the 16th defendant from accepting, recognising, giving effect to, or in any manner, acting on the list of nominated candidates submitted to it by the ADC, Nwosu, Dele Ajadi, Peter Oyewole, Ladoja, Koleoso, Adebisi and Olakojo for the 2019 elections.