Obanikoro Contests Suit Against His Qualification for Future Elections

                              Senator Musiliu Obanikoro

By Akinwale Akintunde

In spite of losing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Lagos governorship primaries, former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has
challenged the suit seeking to restrain him from contesting the primaries and any other future election.

Obanikoro, in a notice of preliminary objection filed by his lawyer, Mr. Gbenga Ojo, is seeking an order of court striking out or dismissing the originating summons on the ground that it is abuse of court process.

Three members of the PDP in Lagos, Micheal Ogun, Suleima Saheed and Wasiu Odusan had approached the Court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining Obanikoro from participating in the December 8, 2014 primaries.

The PDP stalwarts had also asked the court to restrain the PDP from nominating Obanikoro to INEC for the purpose of contesting the 2015 governorship election in Lagos State or any subsequent election in Nigeria, pending the hearing and determination of the originating summons.

Joined as defendants in the suit alongside Obanikoro are Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the PDP.

But Justice Kazeem Alogba had at the first hearing of the originating summons, refused to grant an exparte order sought by the applicants to stop Obanikoro from contesting the primaries, thereby paving way for him to participate in the primaries, which he eventually lost.

At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, counsel to the applicants, Mr. Wahab Shittu, told the court that he was prepared to move the originating summon since the matter was already slated for hearing.

But Obanikoro’s counsel, Ojo, told the court that there was no need to proceed into the matter, since his client has lost the governorship primary election of the PDP in Lagos.

He informed the Court that following the outcome of the PDP primary in Lagos State, he intends to file a further application to dismiss the suit as a mere academic exercise.

Ojo asked the court to strike out the suit on the ground that it does not disclose a reasonable cause of action.

He contended that the case against Obanikoro is premised on forgery and dual citizenship and that there is no evidence of his trial or conviction for the alleged offences.

He said all the documents relied upon by the applicants are “either uncertified public document or documents printed from the internet without authentication of the source or certification.

Counsel to INEC and PDP in the suit, Juliana Nnamdi and Samson Ozah respectively, acknowledged service of Obanikoro’s preliminary objection but sought more time within which to file their responses.

Justice Alogba subsequently adjourned the matter till January 14 for hearing of all applications.

The judge also ordered all parties to file all applications before the adjourned date, warning that he would not entertain any unnecessary delays by any party in the suit.

Source: ThisDay

Publish Date: 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014