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Actions done by the defunct Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee of the All Progressives Congress were deemed invalid by an Abuja-seated Federal High Court on Friday (APC).

Newsreport that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) received their names from Governor Mai Mala Buni in violation of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022. As a result, the Federal High Court invalidated the nomination of Governor Gboyega Oyetola and his deputy, Benedict Alabi, as the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the APC.

One of the counsels for Governor Oyetola told Tribune Online on Friday night that his team had commenced the process of filing a notice of appeal on the matter.

On 7 April 2022, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through its counsel, Mr. Kehinde Ogunwumiju, SAN, commenced a suit at the Federal High Court challenging the nomination and sponsorship of Governor Oyetola and his deputy as the duly nominated candidates of the APC on the basis that Mai Mala Buni’s leadership of the party which organized their nomination was illegal.

In challenging the competence of the suit, Mr. Kunle Adegoke, SAN, who represented Governor Oyetola, contended, among other grounds, that the plaintiff did not have the locus to commence the action and that the suit was statute-barred.

In arguing to the contrary, Mr. Kehinde Ogunwumiju, SAN, leading O.M. Atoyebi, SAN, and Ademola Abimbola submitted that the plaintiff rightly commenced the suit under Section 285(14) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

In his judgment, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court agreed with the submissions of the plaintiff’s counsel and declared as null and void, the nomination of Governor Oyetola and Alabi by the APC.

The court also held that Governor Buni acted in contravention of the provision of Section 183 of the constitution when he held dual executive positions as the governor of Yobe State and chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the APC.

The court held that all steps or decisions taken by Governor Mai Mala Buni, including forwarding the names of Governor Oyetola and Alabi to INEC, amounted to a nullity in law.

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