Court orders for fresh Ondo APC primary
A Federal High Court, sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Thursday ordered for a fresh primary of the All Progressives Congress in Akoko South-East/ South West Federal Constituency of Ondo State. The court, presided over by Justice Demi Ajayi, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct another election within seven days.
A House of Representatives aspirant of the party, Mr. Victor Ategbole, had earlier approached the court to annul the primary on the grounds that the primary, which was won by Mr. Adegboyega Adefarati, did not hold at the designated venue but was held in Akure, the state capital, out of the federal constituency.
The winner of the primary, Adefarati, the APC, the national chairman of the APC, the state APC chairman, Mr. Ade Adetimehin and the Independent National Electoral Commission, were defendants in the suit. The decision of the court was based on the out of court settlement agreed upon by all the parties involved in the matter.
In a copy of written terms of settlement from court signed by the plaintiffs, defendants and their counsels, made available to our correspondent, all the parties agreed that the election should hold within seven days and within the federal constituency.
It reads, “It is hereby agreed between the plaintiff on the one part and the first, second, third and fourth defendants on the other part, that the present suit as constituted be discontinued in the interest of the All Progressives Congress.
“It is further agreed that the second defendant, the All Progressives Congress, shall within seven days from the date of pronouncing this terms of settlement as the judgment of this court in this suit or so soon thereafter, write officially to inform the fifth defendant of its readiness to conduct a fresh APC primary for the Akoko South-East and Akoko South-West federal constituency at the approved venue of the primaries, being St. Patrick’s Secondary School, Iwaro-Oka, Akoko South-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, within the federal constituency.
“The second defendant shall invite the appropriate officers of the fifth defendant to monitor the proposed fresh primaries for Akoko South-East/Akoko South-West federal Constituency. That the foregoing terms shall be the judgment of this honourable court in this suit. Parties to bear their respective costs.
“In witness whereof the plaintiff on the one part and the first, second, third , fourth and fifth defendants on the other part, have either by themselves or through their respective legal counsel, set their hands and seals herein.”
In a reaction, the plaintiff’s counsel, Mr. Olusola Oke, said that all the parties agreed to the position of the court in the interest of the party.
He said , “The Federal High Court, Akure today ( Thursday), entered consent judgments based on terms of settlement executed and filed by all the parties. By the tenor of the said judgments, the APC shall within seven days from today write to notify INEC of its readiness to conduct a fresh primary election of the party for Akoko South-East/Akoko South-West federal constituency at St. Patrick Secondary School, Iwaro-Oka. Parties agreed to this position in the overall interest of the APC.”