Minister Shittu, who skipped NYSC, loses to APC in court

Adebayo-Shittu
The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, [Photo credit: THISDAYLIVE]

A judge has struck out a suit filed by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, against the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The minister sued his party for excluding his name from the list of gubernatorial aspirants in the March 9 general elections.

Mr Shittu was excluded following an exclusive PREMIUM TIMES report that showed that he skipped the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.

The APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, said then that the party considered Mr Shittu’s action of skipping the NYSC an offence that disqualifies him from contesting to be governor.

Despite the stance of the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to keep Mr Shittu as a minister.

Mr Shittu, who sought to govern Oyo State, filed the suit marked FHC/IB/CS/111/2018.

In her ruling, Ms Ajoku said that the case was struck out due to the fact that Mr Shittu did not file the case within the time stipulated by law.

“I must first consider the provision of Section 285 of the constitution that makes it mandatory for all pre-election matters to be filed within 14 days of occurrence.

“This particular case was not filed within 14 days, but outside the date.

“Therefore, I will not bother going into the merit of the case.

“Having failed to satisfy the dictates of the constitution, the matter is hereby, struck out,” the judge ruled.

In his reaction to the ruling, the defence counsel, Adebayo Ojo, said that the law has taken its due course.

“The judge acted by the 1999 constitution and it is a victory for democracy,” Mr Ojo, a former commissioner for justice in Oyo State, said.

The plaintiff’s counsel, Abdulhakeem Mustafa, had tendered a 38 paragraph affidavit and 13 exhibits to support his claims.

Mr Shittu had prayed the court to determine whether the action of his party to omit his name in the list of gubernatorial aspirants was lawful or a contravention of the constitution.

Joined as a respondent in the matter is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the minister, who is also a member of the APC, claimed that APC’s national leadership omitted his name in the list of its gubernatorial aspirants for the primaries in Oyo State because he did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.

He, among all other things, urged the court to determine whether the ground for disqualifying his client was lawful or a contravention of the constitution.

Mr Mustafa argued that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria required anyone seeking to be a state governor to possess a maximum of Senior Secondary School Certificate and not necessarily an NYSC certificate.

(NAN)

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