Popular Ogun state lawyer and a human rights activist Festus Ogun has declared the Kano state high court ruling which nullified the candidature of the Abia Governor-elect Alex Chioma Otti under Labour Party as a judicial rascality, adding that a court can not sack a candidate which has already been declared a winner in an election.
Recall that a federal high in Kano presided over by justice M.N Yunusa had on Friday May 19th 2023 nullified the candidature of all the Labour Party candidates in the Match 18th governoship election including Abia Governor-elect Alex Chioma Otti siting failure of Labour Party to comply with 2023 electoral acts.
The suit which was filed by Mr Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against the Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC , the court ruled the failure of Labour Party to submit it’s membership register to INEC within 30 days before their primaries makes the whole process invalid.
Reacting to the ruling in a post on his Twitter handle,Festus Ogun said that a suit becomes academic the very day that the election is conducted and declared.
He further stated that once elected, the issue of nomination is of no moment adding that once the election is conducted, you cannot disqualify an elected person on the ground that he is not validly nominated.
His Words ‘You cannot “nullify” the candidature of someone already declared winner. That suit becomes academic the very day that election was conducted. I had a similar suit at the Court of Appeal which I had to withdraw when election was few days away. The judgement will serve no purpose.
Once elected, the issue of nomination is of no moment. Once the election has been conducted, you cannot disqualify an elected person on the ground that he was not validly nominated. You cannot even raise the issue of nomination at the Tribunal.
The only issue that can be raised are issue of constitutional qualifications. It is also important to state that Ameachi v INEC is no longer good law on this issue. The law has moved beyond that. Once election has been conducted, the issue of valid candidacy becomes otiose.