Barely 48 hours to the Ekiti State governorship election, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has urged a Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti to nullify the emergence of Chief Segun Oni as the SDP governorship candidate.
The SDP said the suit was predicated on the fact that Oni did not participate in any valid primary as he was nominated by Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam and Dr. Olu Agunloye who were not legally and constitutionally recognized as the National Chairman and the National Secretary respectively.
The SDP is seeking an order of the Court restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing Oni as the candidate of the party in the governorship election slated for 18th June, 2022.
The party also seeking a declaration that the primaries of the party organized under the supervision of Gabam and Agunloye which never held formally is wrongful, illegal null and void and couldn’t have produced a validly nominated governorship candidate for the Ekiti poll.
The suit which was marked FHC/C/31/2022 and filed at the Court on 15th June, 2022 has the SDP as the 1st Plaintiff. Other Plaintiffs are Dr. Ishola Agboola (2nd), Mr. Tunde Alabi (3rd) and Mr. Kehinde Rufus (4th).
The Defendants in the suit filed by the Counsel, Mr A.O. Thomas, are Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam (1st), Dr. Olu Agunloye (2nd), Engr. Segun Oni (3rd) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (4th).
The Plaintiffs are seeking seven (7) reliefs of the court among which is an order setting aside and/or nullifying the candidacy of Oni (the 3rd Defendant) as the governorship candidate of the party for the Saturday’s poll.
According to the Writ of Summons, the Plaintiffs claimed that the 1st and 2nd Defendants (Gabam and Agunloye) by reason of not having been elected at any National Convention or at any election forum of SDP are not substantive nor interim/acting chairman or secretary of the party and therefore wrongful for them to arrogate to themselves the power of the offices of the National Chairman and Secretary of SDP.
The Plaintiffs maintained that the national chairmanship status/position of the SDP having not been handed over to either of the 1st and 2nd Defendants by any National Chairman of the party they cannot claim to the chairman of the party whether substantive or interim/acting and therefore lack the capacity to organize any convention of the party for election of national officers of the party or primaries to elect candidates for general election.
They further seek an order of injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd Defendants from further parading themselves and/or holding themselves out as National Chairman and National Secretary or as officers of SDP.
In the Statement of Claim attached to the suit, the Plaintiffs averred that the 1st Defendant usurped and arrogated to himself the position of the National Chairman having not been elected or handed over to by a legitimate National Chairman of the party.
The Plaintiffs also averred that the 1st Defendant in a brazen and unconstitutional manner, in order to continue to arrogate to himself the status of a national officer of the party, swapped with the 2nd Defendant, the position of National Chairman, thereby assuming the position of National Secretary while the 2nd Defendant assumed the position of National Chairman.
While affirming that there is no provision for the swapping of offices or positions in the party’s constitution, the Plaintiffs averred that the 1st and 2nd Defendants were never elected as national officers at any National Convention of the party in accordance with provision of the constitution of the party under any guidelines and supervision of the 4th Defendant.