The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure has dismissed the appeal, filed by Sen. Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP/Ondo South) against the verdict of the Federal High Court that affirmed Agboola Ajayi, as the senatorial candidate of the party.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi had won Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary for Ondo Southern Senatorial District
Ajayi won the primaries with 78 votes, while Tofowomo had 74 votes,
in the keenly contested election.
The Appeal Court, presided over by Justice Ayobode Lokulo-Sodipe, in his judgment, affirmed the candidature of Ajayi on Tuesday, and dismissed the appeal for failure to file within the time stipulated by the law.
Lokulo-Sodipe, in his verdict, affirmed the judgment of Justice Rilwanu Aikawa of the Federal High Court that dismissed the suit filed by Tofowomo, challenging the emergence of Ajayi as the candidate of the PDP.
Tofowomo, who was not happy with the outcome of the primary, had challenged the outcome of the primaries, through his counsel, Femi Emodamori at the high court.
Tofowomo accused Ajayi of the alleged act of perjury and education scandal. In a suit number: FHC/CS/AK/ 83 /2022 filed on July 5, 2022.
The plaintiff prayed to the high court to nullify the former deputy governor’s nominatio, because controversial academic records were allegedly presented by Ajayi for the election.
But Ajayi, through his lawyer, Prof Kayode Olatoke SAN, argued that the allegation of perjury against him was unfounded.
Justice Aikawa in his verdict, delivered in October said the Supreme Court, in several decided cases, held that the date of occurrence is to be used to determine the status of the case, and not the date the plaintiff was aware of the infraction.
Tofowomo, who was not satisfied with the verdict, challenged the judgment of the court, and asked the appellate court to order for retrial of the case as the merit should take preeminence instead technicalities, employed by the trial court.
Justice Lokulo-Sodipe of the Appeal Court, in his verdict, dismissed the appeal of Tofowomo, as the suit could not be heard on merit because the electoral act, practice direction, and constitution, stipulated the time within which such suit should be filed.
He said the failure of the appellant to key into the period stipulated by the law, which was 14 days after the cause of action made the case and the appeal nugatory.
He consequently dismissed the appeal, with an N250.000.00 fine.