ILLEGAL SUBSTITUTION OF CANDIDATE: COURT DECLARES REP MEMBER AS ACN CANDIDATE
A Federal High Court sitting in Ikeja on Thursday upturned the illegal substitution of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Ganiyu Olukolu, re-instating him as the winner of the January 12 ACN primary elections for Amuwo-Odofin Federal Constituency of Lagos State.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Stephen Adah in a suit brought by Olukolu declared illegal the substitution of the claimant's name with that of one Mrs. Susan Olley in the final list of candidates submitted by the party to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In his judgment, Adah ordered both INEC and the ACN to recognise Olukolu as the legitimate candidate of the party for the election. The judge held that the claimant won the primary conducted by the party for the constituency on Jan. 12 after scoring the highest number of votes.
'The Certified True copy of the result of the Amuwo-Odofin Federal constituency primaries held on January 12 which was submitted by the party to INEC shows that Olukolu scored a total number of 61 votes while the first defendant (Olley) scored only four votes. The result further showed that Cosmas Okoli had seven votes; Ifemade Olalekan, 12 votes; Solomon Adesanya, two votes and Tunde Oyewo who got 15 votes,' Justice Adah held.
The trial judge also restrained Olley, a Principal at Lagos State Senior Model College, Kankun- Badagry from parading herself as the ACN candidate for the constituency. Olukolu, through his counsel, Lere Oyedipo had asked the court to order INEC and the ACN to recognize him as the bonafide candidate of the party for the constituency having won the January 12 primaries.
Reacting to the judgment, Olukolu told journalists that the court's verdict has restored his confidence in the nation's judiciary. 'I feel happy for the judgment and with the support all my people gave me. Even though it is only two days to the election I am very optimistic. I have good structures on ground because I am going there for the second time and I know that the people of my constituency are solidly behind me.'
This judgment is coming barely 48hours to the commencement of the National Assembly elections scheduled to hold on April 2, 2011.