Appeal Court Affirms Sack Of Ex-Ondo APC Secretary As Akoko Assembly candidate

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure has affirmed the judgment of the Akure Division of the Federal High Court which sacked Sina Alaye, the former Ondo State Secretary of APC, as the party’s candidate for Akoko South-East Constituency of the State House of Assembly.

In the judgement delivered today, in appeal No: CA/AK/ 280/2022, by a three-man panel presided over by Hon. Justice Ayobode Olujimi Lokulo-Sodipe, the Appeal Court equally affirmed the Order granted by the Federal High Court directing both APC and INEC to recognize and substitute Suleiman Murtala as the Party’s rightful candidate for the Constituency.

Suleiman Murtala, who was a banker and until recently based in Canada, had approached the Federal High Court through his Counsel, Femi Emmanuel Emodamori & Co, seeking a declaration that the APC primary election that produced Sina Alaye which was held at the International Cultural Events Centre (The Dome) in Akure on 27th May, 2022 was illegal, null and void, for violating the provision of Section 84(5)(i) (c) of the Electoral Act, 2022 which provides that primary elections must be held within and not outside the respective constituencies.

Suleiman Murtala also claimed that he had earlier participated in, won and retuned as winner of the Party’s primary for the same constituency duly conducted on 26th May, 2022 at Isua-Akoko within that constituency, before the Party conducted the subsequent illegal primary.

The Federal High Court presided over by Hon. Justice R.M Aikawa, who delivered the judgment of the Federal High Court on 1st December, 2022 granted the reliefs sought by Suleiman Murtala and ordered both APC and INEC to substitute him as the rightful candidate.

The APC and Sina Alaye however appealed the Judgment to the Court of Appeal through their counsels, Olusola Oke, SAN and Chief A.O AJana, SAN.

The Appeal Court, in dismissing the appeal and affirming the judgment of
1the trial Court, held that the appeal lacked merit and consequently awarded costs of N500,000 against APC and Sina Alaye in favour of Murtala Suleiman.

Whilst speaking to pressmen outside the Court, Counsel to Murtala Suleiman, Adebayo Solagbade of Femi Emmanuel Emodamori & Co, described the judgment as thorough, erudite, and fundamental in guiding political parties on the conduct of party primaries.

Suleiman Murtala however said that despite the injustice that forced him to go to court, he has put the past behind him and is now prepared to work with Sina Alaye and other stakeholders in the greater interest of the Party and his Constituency.

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