The Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Nicholas Tofowomo, has criticised an alleged delay in conveying the ruling in his case against a former deputy governor of the state, Mr Agboola Ajayi, over the results of the Peoples Democratic Party senatorial primary.
In a primary election held in May at the headquarters of the state’s Okitipupa Local Government Area,
Ajayi, was proclaimed the winner amongst others.
The senator who was obviously dissatisfied with the results of the primary election, went on to petition the Federal High Court through his lawyer, Mr Femi Emodamori, for Ajayi’s disqualification based on alleged faulty academic qualifications.
Alongside Ajayi, the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission have been named as defendants in the case.
Tofowomo claimed that Ajayi did not meet the constitutional conditions for contesting the 2023 general election, as stated in the interpretation and application of Section 66(1)(i) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution, 1999 (as amended) and Section 29(5)&(6) of the Electoral Act, 2022, as well as other relevant laws.
In a letter dated October 12, 2022, and addressed to the Station Registrar of the Federal High Court, Akure Judicial Division, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Emodamori, stated that the court had not relayed to the parties the judgement date, even though the court has until the 19th of this month under the constitution to deliver its verdict.
The letter read, “The suit is a pre-election matter relating to the candidacy of the Peoples Democratic Party for Ondo South Senatorial District.
“It was commenced by originating summons, and parties adopted their respective written addresses at the hearing of the case on July 19, 2022, after his Lordship, Hon. Justice R. M Aikawa tentatively adjourned the case till August 30, 2022, for judgment.
“However, up until now, no date has been communicated to the parties for the judgment. By virtue of Section 294 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), every court is expected to deliver its judgment in writing not later than ninety days after the conclusion of the evidence and final addresses by the parties. The ninety days period in the instant case would expire on or about October 19, 2022.
“Apart from the above constitutional provision and the understandably huge public interest in the case, it is most desirable for all the parties to know the outcome of the case promptly, for them to effectively prepare and execute their political campaign plans for the Ondo South Senatorial District.
“Consequently, we hereby respectfully request that you kindly bring this letter to the attention of his Noble Lordship, Hon. Justice R.M Aikawa, for necessary action.”