A suit seeking the nullification of the nomination of Dr. Samsondeen Ade Dosunmu, as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Lagos State, has been filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos, South West Nigeria, by a PDP member, Oluowo Adeyeri.
Other defendants in the suit are: the PDP Chairman, PDP Governorship Screening Committee, Lagos State, Chairman PDP Governorship Election Panel, Lagos State and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
In an affidavit sworn to and filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer, Tunde Akinrimisi, the applicant, an indigene of Ikorodu, a card carrying member of the PDP and an elected delegate of Ward A2 under the Ikorodu Local Government PDP, contended that Dr. Sodunmu is not eligible to be the candidate of the PDP in the next election; based on the following reasons:
That he has not been a card carrying member of the PDP for a period of two years and there was no waiver to that effect.
Consequently, he said he was not eligible to contest the 10 January primary for the governorship ticket.
He also contended further that as at 10 January, 2009, by which time he ought to have been a card carrying member of the party, Dosunmu was a public servant and consequently, was not allowed to be a member of any political in Nigeria.
Prince Adeyemi further averred that Dosunmu was removed from office forcefully or abruptly as his exit as Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, was not voluntarily, but as a result of alleged financial impropriety.
Consequently, he is caught by the provision of Article 14b of the Electoral guidelines for primary election 2010 of the PDP.
In view of this, being a card carrying member of the PDP, and also being an elected delegate of the party who participated in the 10 January, 2011 governorship election; on behalf of himself and the people he represents, he has interest in who becomes the partyâ€™s flag bearer since an ineligible candidate will eventually jeopardise the chances of the party in winning the governorship election in Lagos State.
Therefore, he prayed the court for the following reliefs:
A declaration that the PDP governorship screening panel wrongly cleared Dr. Samsondeen Ade Dosumu to contest the PDP nomination process on 10 January, 2011 in flagrant breach of the PDP electoral guidelines.
A declaration that his nomination as the PDP governorship candidate for Lagos State through the said congress is null and void on account of his ineligibility.
An order of the court disqualifying him as the PDP governorship flag bearer in the 2011 election.
An order of injunction restraining the PDP from presenting or submitting his name to INEC as the partyâ€™s flag bearer for Lagos State.
In an accompanying statement on oath, deposed to by the applicant and same filed before the court by Barrister Akinrinmisi, Prince Adeyeri urged the court to declare the next candidate with the highest number of votes at the PDP governorship primary of the 10 January, 2011 as the lawful winner and consequently, the partyâ€™s flag bearer.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.
â€” Akin Kuponiyi