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LAGOS GUBER: COURT RE-INSTATES ORDER ON DOSUNMU

By NBF News
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A Federal High court Judge sitting in Lagos, Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako yersterday restrained the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Ade Dosunmu, from taking further action in respect of the 2011 general elections, pending the determination of a suit filed by one Oluowo Adeyeri.

Adeyeri, who was a delegate to the January 10 PDP Congress in Lagos State, where Dosunmu emerged as the gubernatorial candidate of the party, had instituted the action insisting that he (Dosunmu) did not meet the constitutional requirements for him to be eligible to contest as the PDP candidate.

Justice Murtala-Nyako had last week pronounced that there was no candidate for the PDP in Lagos in the interim until the determination of the suit, but the party issued a press statement to deny the pronouncement, saying that the judge did not make such ruling. Sequel to the denial of the order, Justice Murtala-Nyako said she was the only one who could interpret her ruling, and that it was wrong for anybody to misinterpret was she said.

'I'm the only one who can interpret my ruling. In a case where counsel will come to my court and start interpreting my order to my registrar is not good enough. I have warned my registrar that I will put him in the dock if such situation should repeat itself.

'I hereby make an order that all parties in this suit are hereby restrained from doing anything on this issue until judgment is delivered,' the court held. She therefore fixed March 3 for the judgment in the suit. The judgment date was sequel to the adoption of arguments by lawyers to the parties. Dosunmu had, however filed a preliminary objection challenging the locus standi of the applicant to institute the action.

Adeyeri alleged that Dosunmu was forcefully removed from office as the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as a result of financial impropriety, and that Article 14 (d) of the PDP Electoral Guidelines for 2010 primary elections forbids such person to contest for the election.

Adeyeri, who claimed to be an elected delegate of ward A2 under the Ikorodu arm of the PDP, stressed that shortly after the emergence of Dosunmu as the PDP gubernatorial candidate in Lagos, he had been bombarded by party loyalist and supporters on the prospect of the party loosing the state gubernatorial election on the ground of fielding an ineligible candidate.

The applicant was therefore seeking a declaration of the court that Dosunmu is not eligible to contest for nomination as the PDP candidate for the Lagos State gubernatorial position in the 2011 general election, and a declaration that the screening panel wrongly cleared Dosunmu to contest for the nomination process.

He also wants an order declaring Dosunmi's emergence as null and void and an order restraining the PDP from submitting his (Dosunmu's) name as the party flagbearer for the Lagos State gubernatorial election in 2011.