Art and Culture

2023: SANs Battle in Suit Seeking Disqualification of Lagos Senator

todayJuly 28, 2022 2

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James Sowole

Two Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SANs), Seni Adio and Bode Olanipekun, yesterday, differed sharply as the hearing began at the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Ogun State,  on the eligibility of the Senator  Representing Lagos West, Solomon Olamilekan to contest for the same office in Ogun West.

Adeola, popularly known as Yayi, had emerged as the candidate of the  All Progressives Congress (APC), for Ogun West for 2023 Election, having won the primary of the party.

Not pleased with the development, some members of the party, approached the Federal High Court, seeking disqualification of Adeola from contesting for the seat sine he was still a serving senator in Lagos State.

The plaintiffs in the suit FHC/Abk/05/132/22, are Johnson Akindele, Moses Oluwasaanu and Taiwo Orobiyi while the defendants are Senator Solomon Adeola the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), All Progressives Congress (APC) and the National Assembly.

While Adio represented the plaintiffs in the matter, Olanipekun is the counsel for the first defendant, Adeola, just as another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Babatunde Ogala, is the counsel for the Third Defendant, APC.

At the hearing yesterday,  Senator Olanipekun told the court that the case did not qualify as a pre-election matter under the 1999 Constitution.

According to Olanipekun, only an aspirant or a political party is entitled to file a pre-election case and none of the plaintiffs fit into these categories.

Counsel to APC, Babatunde Ogala, SAN adopted the submissions of Bode Olanipekun, SAN and also added that the case was not filed in accordance with the applicable rules and that none of the plaintiffs has any personal benefit from the reliefs sought in the case and that they have nothing to lose.

Adio said aspirants in the election, approached the court after seeking resolution of the crisis through the internal dispute resolution mechanism of the party.

The exchange between the senior lawyers, became heated when Olanipekun told the court that the explanation given by the plaintiffs lawyer was not contained anywhere in papers filed by the plaintiffs in court and that his own client (Yayi) was the only aspirant in the court case and a defendant in court.

However, Olanipekun and Ogala stuck stoutly to their positions as the Adio maintained that it was a constitutional action and that it is a test case.

After very charged exchange of arguments between the senior lawyers in a court filled beyond capacity with people from both parties in the suit trying to force their way into the crowded court room, the Court adjourned further proceedings to September 29, 2022.

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todayJuly 28, 2022

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