A Federal High Court has thrown out a suit filed by a contestant in the January 27, 2022 Ekiti All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries, Kayode Ojo, challenging the victory of the Governor-elect, Biodun Oyebanji.
The Court sitting in Ado Ekiti upheld the preliminary objection of the counsel to Oyebanji, Kabir Akingbolu, that the writ of summons and statement of claims of Ojo were defective, dealing a fatal blow on the case.
The court in a judgment on Thursday delivered by the presiding judge, Justice Babs Kuewumi, threw out Ojo’s case and agreed with the Oyebanji’s counsel that the discrepancies in the originating processes had rendered the case academic.
Justice Kuewumi held that the names of counsel on the Plaintiff’s originating summons and statement and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) stamp ran contrary which is against the law rendering the suit defective and incompetent.
While the name on the NBA stamp of one of the lawyers of Ojo reads “Moroof Bolanle,” the one that appears on the list of lawyers submitted for the case reads “Olayinka Bolanle.”
According to the judge, a further scrutiny on the Plaintiff’s writ of summons and statement of claim reveals two different signatures which render the suit invalid ab initio.
“The signatures on the writ of summons and the statement of claim are not the same. There is no jurisdiction, there is no case. I will make copies of my judgment available to counsels tomorrow.
“Having ruled on the issue of objection, there is no further judgment to deliver. The Plaintiff is free to approach the higher court for appeal,” the Judge held.
Earlier, the judge expressed appreciation to all counsels for their industry and cooperation as the matter was expeditiously heard and determined.
Counsel to the Ojo, Taiwo Ogunmoroti, had earlier urged the court to make the judgment available to him for perusal and any possible action.
But counsel to Oyebanji, Akingbolu, in a chat with reporters after the judgment was delivered, expressed satisfaction with the verdict which he said was in line with the law and the rules of the court.
Akingbolu said: “Before a process is filed in court, a known lawyer must sign it but many lawyers subscribed to this originating process but there was only one signature. The law is that you must tick the name of the person who signed it and this was not done in this case.
“Again, the NBA seal, which is the authority of the office for a lawyer to sign documents, was affixed but the name on the seal was different from the one on the process.
“So, there was no way the court could determine whether it was signed by a clerk or whether it was signed by a street urchin or a lawyer. On the ground, the court has rightly thrown away the case and the whole thing has crumbled.
“What the court is saying is that whatever you put on it cannot stand. You cannot build a castle in the air, it is.bot just possible.”