Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Court Halts Bid to Stop Fayose from Contesting Saturday’s Poll

Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi of Ado-Ekiti High Court yesterday adjourned the case seeking to stop the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr. Ayo Fayose, from contesting the Saturday governorship election to June 30.

A member of a socio-political group in the state, known as E-Eleven,  Adeniyi Ajakaye, and Citizen Party, had sued the former governor over his alleged ineligibility to contest the election.

Among others, the claimants are asking the court to determine whether Fayose is qualified to contest by virtue of his impeachment in 2006 and whether he was right to have allegedly given certain false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) about his state of integrity.

Both the INEC and the PDP were joined in the suit.
The claimants’ lead counsel, Mr Norrison Quakers (SAN), had pleaded for accelerated hearing of the case in view of the fact that the election in which the eligibility of the defendant was in question would be coming up this Saturday.
According to him, the court was empowered under the Electoral Act to proceed with the case so that his clients would be deemed to have gotten justice.

Quakers submitted that the case was ripe for accelerated hearing because the defendants had been served notice since Monday after the court ruled that Fayose be served through substituted means.

But in a counter-argument, counsel to the respondent, Ahmed Raji (SAN), said the case before the court was not ripe enough for hearing since there was no written application filed.

He asked the court to give him seven days to respond to the filed affidavit.
He, therefore, urged the court not to treat the matter as an urgent one, and should not rush the proceedings, as demanded by the claimants.

However, in his ruling, Justice Ogunyemi, said the rule of law must be obeyed in the case, concerning the issue of oral or written application, citing Section 39 of the Constitution.

He agreed that there must be a written affidavit filed by the claimant, and given to the respondent.
He consequently adjourned the case till June 30 for hearing.

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