Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
AN Akure division of the Court of Appeal yesterday declared that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke was eligible to contest the election.
The ruling may have brought to an end the controversies surrounding his eligibility to contest the election or hold the office of governor.
The Appeal Court in its ruling dismissed an appeal against the judgment of an Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo which had earlier confirmed the eligibility of Adeleke to contest the election.
An Osun State High Court had ruled that Adeleke was qualified to contest the governorship election, having been educated up to secondary school level.
The petitioners, however, appealed against the ruling, insisting that the Senator is not qualified, demanding that Dr Akin Ogunbiyi who was the second runner up at the governorship primary be declared the winner of the party primary.
But the Akure Appeal Court in its ruling dismissed the appeal on three grounds, thereby affirming the judgment of the lower court that confirmed the eligibility of Senator Adeleke.
The first ground was that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the case. The second was that the sponsored petitioner; one Kingsley Awosiyan from Ife Central has no locus standi to file the case and third was that the matter was brought to the court outside the stipulated 14 days after the conduct of the primary election.
Reacting to the judgment, counsel to Adeleke, Mr Nathaniel Oke said the latest judgment has knocked out the judgment of an Abuja High Court and rendered its conclusion ineffective, null and void with no effect on the candidacy of the PDP candidate for the September 2018 gubernatorial election.