The fate of the Osun State Local Government election slated for Saturday, January 27, 2018 is now hanging as the State High Court sitting in Ilesa today adjourned further hearing on the suit
challenging the conduct of the polls to Thursday, January 25.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Kola Adegoke who sat for over six hours
over the suit filed by a human right activist, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola
against the state governor,Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the State House of
Assembly, the State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) and
eight other political parties asked the litigants to return for further hearing on Thursday.
At the resumption of the matter today, three political parties, United
Democratic Party (UDP), United Progressive Party (UPP) and Advanced
Congress for Democracy (ACD) had brought applications to join in the suit being interested parties.
While the plaintiff, Barrister Ajibola raised no objection, he however
raised an oral application asking the court to order the defendants in
the matter to maintain status quo until the matter pending before the
court is finally determined.
Ajibola cited the case of Nyako versus INEC, arguing that allow INEC to continue the election will jeopardize his fundamental human right as enshrined in the 1999 constitution which was the basis of why he approached the court.
But, the state Attorney-General, Dr. Ajibola Basiru who represented
the governor kicked against the application, arguing that his client
had raised the issue of jurisdiction which must first of all be
determined before any motion can be raised.
Besides, he noted that the damage will be irreparable to the third parties who had spent millions of naira in the election and over 17 political parties and 500 candidates ready for the election.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Adegoke explained that jurisdiction “is
a threshold matter” in the suit and must first be addressed by the court before proceeding on the entire case.
He insisted that justice must be done on the matter as he directed that on Thursday, he will hear the application for injunction seeking the court a restraining order against the conduct of the election, the preliminary objection filed by the defendants challenging the
jurisdiction and all other pending motions.
He warned that his court will not entertain any motion for adjournment
as litigants in the case must file and serve all the appropriate papers in the suit, “Justice must be done and the court has to give accelerated hearing to the matter at hand since the said election is said to be slated for January 27.