The Court of Appeal in Ilorin has dismissed the verdict of the Federal High Court that nullified the primary election that produced Abdulraheem Ajuloopin as the candidate of Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency.
Mr Ajuloopin, a member of the House of Representatives, was in November 2022 removed as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency by the High Court and was replaced with Segun Adebayo.
The court on Thursday set aside the ruling of the High Court on the ground that the originating summons that the High Court used in reaching the verdict was faulty.
Mr Ajuloopin contested the APC primary for Kwara South Senatorial District but lost to Lola Ashiru, the incumbent senator.
Subsequently, Mr Ajuloopin picked the House of Representatives form of the APC, after the party declared that its initial primary election for the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency was disrupted by violence.
The lawmaker was declared the winner of the second primary.
However, Mr Adebayo, who “won” the first primary election, boycotted the second primary election and approached the court seeking his declaration as the candidate of the party.
The judge, IM Sanni, in his ruling, declared that the process that produced Mr Ajuloopin as a candidate was unknown to law.
Appeal Court verdict
The APC and Mr Ajuloopin appealed the verdict of the High Court.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the judgment of the High Court on the ground of lacking jurisdiction because the originating process which was used to commence the proceeding was defective as a result of the court registrar’s omission/failure to sign and seal it.
The appeal court held that any defect in an originating process used in commencing a proceeding will not be treated as a mere technical failure but shall also affect the substance of the matter.
I’ll be magnanimous in Victory—Ajuloopin
Mr Ajuloopin, in a statement, called on all parties to work together for the victory of the APC at the poll. He said the verdict did not produce a victor or loser.
“Today’s victory is for the party, there is no loser in this case, we are all members of the same family and we will ensure that no stone is left unturned to ensure party cohesion.
“The general election is a win for our party, we have worked, we have impacted lives and our people are happy with us. They want us on the ballot, they don’t want to go back to the years of locusts and cankerworms.”
The law allows pre-election matters to get to the Supreme Court.
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