*Dismisses Babayemi’s suit
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, upheld the July 16 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s governorship primary election that produced the Osun Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke, as its candidate.
The five-member panel, in a judgment delivered by Justice Amina Augie, held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, SAN, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.
Upon resumed hearing in the matter Adelodun, who appeared for the appellant and a PDP governorship aspirant, Dotun Babayemi, informed that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.
But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter
Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.
In his judgement on the matter on May 18, Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of a Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo, had upheld the governorship primary that produced Adeleke.
Also, the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, in its judgment of July 20 on the appeal filed against the decision of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, aligned with the lower court and dismissed Babayemi’s appeal.
Meanwhile, Adeleke lauded the Supreme Court judgement affirming him as the authentic Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the July 16 election.
Adeleke, in a statement by his spokesperson, Mr Rasheed Olawale, on Thursday in Osogbo, said the outcome of the case was the manifestation of strong “hand of God” in his governorship project.
According to him, the victory is dedicated to God and the good people of the state, whose tremendous supports had kept me going since the departure of my late brother.
Adeleke, describing the apex court justices as “agents of truth and justice” , said his faith in the judiciary had always been strong.
“As I noted in my statement yesterday (Wednesday), this project is divine and it has come to stay.
“Our people voted for light and we must all defend and sustain that mandate built on our five-point agenda for good governance,” Adeleke said.
He called on Governor Gboyega Oyetola to start the compilation of his handing over notes, saying, “the people’s mandate remains sacrosanct”.
PDP in Osun had on March 8 held two parallel governorship primary elections in the state.
In one of the primaries held at the Osogbo City Stadium, under the supervision of Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, as Chairman, Ademola Adeleke was declared the winner.
However, the other primary held at the Women and Children Development Initiative Foundation (WOCDIF) Centre, Osogbo, produced Prince Dotun Babayemi as the winner.
In a list of candidates later released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Adeleke emerged as the flagbearer of the PDP.
Babayemi, however, approached the Federal High Court, Osogbo, challenging PDP’s submission of Adeleke’s name to INEC, as well as the validity of the governorship primary conducted at the stadium.
The case was, however, dismissed at the Federal High Court, Osogbo, while he also lost at the Court of Appeal in Akure, before it was finally dismissed by the Supreme court on Thursday.
Similarly, the PDP in Osun also described the Supreme Court judgement as a welcome development.
A statement by the party’s Caretaker Chairman, Dr Adekunle Akindele, commended the judiciary for living up to its expectation as the house of justice.
Akindele, however, said that Babayemi had since been expelled from the party.
He warned that any member of the party who continues to romance with Babayemi would be charged with anti-party activities.