The coast is now clear for the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode to contest the April 11 governorship election in the state, as a Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday dimissed a suit seeking to disqualify him.
Two members of the APC – Olorunfemi Oluwatosin and Dada Joseph had filed the suit principally seeking an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from allowing APC to field any candidate for the coming Saturday’ governorship election in Lagos.
They had hinged their request on the ground that they were disenfranchised from participating at the primary election that produced Ambode in December 2014.
They claimed that the primary was fraught with and predicated on irregularities.
They alleged that the party’s ward congresses, which were supposed to be conducted only in the 20 recognized local goverment areas of Lagos State, were also extended to the 37 Local Council Development Areas of the state.
They also alleged that secret ballot rather than open ballot system was used during the congresses, arguing that same had rendered the process illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
But the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, in his judgment on Wednesday, declared that the plaintiffs had no locus standi to institute the action. The judge also held that the plaintiffs failed to establish any reasonable cause of action to sustain their prayers.
“None of the plaintiffs in the instant suit is an aspirant to be conferred with locus standi,” the judge held.
Apart from APC, INEC and Ambode, the plaintiffs also listed other aspirants that contested the governorship primary election in Lagos as co-defendants. They are Ganiyu Solomon, Leke Pitan, Tayo Ayinde, Olasupo Shasore, Obafemi Hamzat, Tokunbo Agbesanwa, Tola Kasali, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Lanre Ope, Tokunbo Wahab, Adekunle Disu and Abayomi Sutton.
The APC, in its objection to the suit, had contended that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter, being an intra-party affair.
Besides, the party claimed that since the plaintiffs were neither delegates nor aspirants, they had no legal basis to complain.