Court dismisses PDP’s case against Abiru
A Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suit seeking to disqualify Senator Adetokunbo Abiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from continuing to represent Lagos East senatorial district.
Justice Chuka Obiozor, in a five-hour judgment, yesterday, upheld the argument canvassed by Abiru’s counsel, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), that the PDP’s case was statute barred.
The judge also disagreed with the PDP’s argument made through its counsel, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cannot transfer a voter’s registration details.
Abiru won the last December 5, 2020 senatorial bye-election by a landslide, polling 89,204 votes against the PDP’s Ademola Gbadamosi, who polled 11,257 votes.
The APC chieftain has since been sworn into office.
Justice Obiozor, in delivering his judgment, first dealt with the notice of preliminary objection filed by Pinheiro on behalf of the 2nd defendant, Abiru.
The judge agreed with his contention that part of the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs were statute barred, having not been brought within 14 days of the accrual of the cause of action as contemplated under Section 285 of the constitution. Consequently, reliefs 2,3, 4, 5,10 and 11 were struck out.
The judge, thereafter, considered two applications filed by Pinheiro on behalf of Abiru, which sought to strike out new facts that the plaintiffs attempted to introduce via further affidavit.
Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) also filed similar applications on behalf of the third respondent, APC.
The judge, in its judgment, agreed with Pinheiro and Owonikoko and struck out the new facts sought to be introduced by Adegboruwa for the plaintiffs as being statute barred.
On the substantive issues, the court rejected Adegboruwa’s contentions and agreed with Abiru and APC.
In all, the court found that there was no merit in the case of the plaintiffs (PDP and Gbadamosi ) and dismissed it.
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