The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, Ondo state capital, has validated the nomination of Adegboyega Adefarati, the son of former Ondo governor Adebayo Adefarati, as the candidate of the House of Representatives for the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the February 25, 2023, election.
Adefarati was confirmed as the party’s candidate in a unanimous judgement by the appellate court ourt, saying the lower court erred in nullifying the primary of the APC which declared Adefarati as the winner.
Adefarati was declared as the candidate of the APC for the Akoko South West and Akoko South East federal constituencies in Ondo state by the party but a Federal High Court nullified his candidacy in the election.
The lower court which nullified the primary conducted by the party, declared that the party has no candidate for the 2023 House of Representatives election in the federal constituency and restrained Adefarati from parading himself as the flagbearer of the party in the election.
Based on this, Adefarati approached the Appeal court to challenge the decision of the lower court and contested the February 25, 2023 election where the party was declared the winner.
But the Appeal court on Wednesday, in Akure, in a unanimous judgement, delivered by Justice Yusuf Bashir, said that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit because the originating summon was not properly signed.
According to Justice Bashir, it was wrong practice to commence the suit with originating summons but instead by writ of summon.
He said that the lower court ought not to have entertained the suit and therefore lacked jurisdiction and locus.
Recall that two aspirants of the party in the primary election for the constituency, Segun Ategbole and John Adanike, had approached the court to challenge the victory of Adefarati.
However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the election, removed the name of Adefarati from the published list of House of Representatives members-elect.
Adefarati, the son of former Ondo governor Adebayo Adefarati, polled 25,872 votes to defeat Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Gbenga Kolawole, who scored 18,403 votes.
The INEC , while giving reasons for the delisting said it was due to the court order that invalidated the party’s primary, which produced Adefarati as the candidate for the constituency.
Counsel to Adefarati, Chief Olusola Oke SAN, Alhali Kabir Ajana, SAN and Barrister Yinka Orokoto, however, hailed the court of Appeal verdict validating his nomination.