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2019 General Elections

Communications Minister, Shittu Loses Case Against Oyo APC

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Justice P.I. Ajoku of a Federal High Court in Ibadan, on Friday, struck out a suit filed by Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, against the All Progressives Congress (APC) for excluding his name from the list of gubernatorial aspirants in the March 9, General Elections over his inability to present his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, certificate.

Shittu, who was screened out of the APC governorship primaries in Oyo state for not having the mandatory NYSC certificate, filed the suit marked FHC/IB/CS/111/2018.

In her ruling, Ajoku said that the case was struck out because he did not file it within the time stipulated by law.

“I must first consider the provision of Section 285 of the constitution that makes it mandatory for all pre-election matters to be filed within 14 days of occurrence.

“This particular case was not filed within 14 days, but outside the date.

“Therefore, I will not bother going into the merit of
the case.

“Haven’t failed to satisfy the dictates of the constitution, the matter is hereby, struck out,” the
Judge ruled.

In his reaction to the ruling, the defence counsel,
Adebayo Ojo, who was the former Attorney-General and Commissioner for justice, Oyo State, said the law had taken it due course. “The judge acted by the 1999 constitution and it is a victory for democracy,” Ojo said.

The plaintiff’s counsel, Abdulhakeem Mustafa,
(SAN) had tendered a 38 paragraph affidavit and 13 exhibits to support his claims. Shittu had prayed the court to determine whether the action of his party to omit his name in the list of gubernatorial aspirants was lawful or a contravention of the constitution. Joined as respondent in the matter is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

NAN reports that the minister, who is also a member of the APC, claimed that APC’s national leadership omitted his name in the list of its gubernatorial aspirants for the primaries in Oyo State because he did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.

He among all other things, urged the court to determine whether the ground for disqualifying his
client was lawful or a contravention of the constitution.

Mustafa argued that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria required anyone seeking to be a state governor to possess a maximum of Senior Secondary School Certificate and not necessarily an NYSC certificate.

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