The Supreme Court Tuesday struck out a suit brought before it by an All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship aspirant, Dr. Olusegun Abraham, challenging the nomination of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) as the APC governorship candidate in the 2016 governorship election in Ondo state.
The apex court struck out the suit on the ground that it has been statute barred, having not been filed within the mandatory 14 days allowed by law.
In a ruling delivered by Justice Mohammed Musa Dattijo, the apex court agreed with Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), counsel to governor Akeredolu that the suit has been caught by 4th Alteration to the 1999 constitution and has therefore become incompetent in law.
The apex court, in the ruling held that contrary to 14 days allowed by law for such a court action to be instituted, Abraham, who participated in the primary election along with Akeredolu but lost, filed his case 28 clear days, thereby rendering his own case incompetent for any court to adjudicate upon.
Olujinmi, who took an interlocutory matter before the apex court had drawn the attention of the five-man panel of the apex court to the validity of the case, added that the entire suit by the governorship aspirant had died in view of the new law that a pre-election suit must be brought before court within 14 days for it to be valid.
The senior counsel, who is a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice further informed the apex court justices that there was nothing to adjudicate upon in the matter of Abraham, having become a mere academic exercise that will bring no benefit to the aspirant.
Although counsel to Abraham, Prof Joash Amupitan (SAN) had attempted to convince the apex court that the suit was not a pre-election matter, Justice Dattijo however, in his ruling, held that the suit was a pre-election matter and had become incompetent since it was not filed within 14 days.
Abraham, who lost the APC nomination to Akeredolu in the September 3, 2016 primary election had dragged both the APC, Akeredolu and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before a federal high court praying for an order of the court to set aside the primary election that produced Akeredolu as APC governorship candidate.
The grouse of Abraham was that the list of delegates used for the primary election was doctored to give undue advantage to Akeredolu.
He also prayed the high court to declare him as the authentic governorship candidate of the APC and that the court should order that he be sworn in as the governor of Ondo state.