NYSC: Court strikes out Shittu’s case against APC
The Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan has struck out a suit filed by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, against the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for disqualifying him from contesting this year’s governorship primary in Oyo State.
Shittu had approached the court challenging his disqualification from the primary of the party for not presenting his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.He listed the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as respondents.
In his ruling, Justice P. I. Ajoku said the plaintiff did not comply with Section 285(9) of the Constitution when he failed to file the case within 14 days. The trial judge noted that the plaintiff in his originating summons had confirmed that he is a card carrying member of the APC, which gives him the opportunity to contest the governorship primary of the party in September last year.
The court explained further that Shittu had also declared that he only read about his disqualification as a result of his failure to perform the one year mandatory NYSC on the pages of newspapers on September 28, 2018.
The court also submitted that the plaintiff had claimed that he tried to explore the internal mechanism of the party by petitioning the national secretariat of the APC at the same time by asking his lawyer to write a letter in respect of the disqualification.
To the Judge, these excuses by the plaintiff cannot exonerate him from Section 285(9) of the Constitution, which only gives the plaintiff 14 days to file his suit after the action has commenced.
Justice Ajoku quoted several authorities to support the judgment, noting that the constitution did not make provision for extension of time in electoral matters. He, therefore, held that plaintiff erred when he said he tried to explore the seven-day internal mechanism for the settlement instead of filing the case in court.
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