APPEAL COURT: Smart Adeyemi looses appeal seeking nullification of Ododo’s candidacy

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday dismissed an appeal brought before it by Senator Smart Adeyemi, seeking to nullify the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, which produced Ahmed Usman Ododo as the party’s flagbearer for the November 11 poll.

The appellate court held that the appeal argued by Adekunle Oladapo Otitoju on behalf of Senator Adeyemi was completely bereft of merit and was thrown out.

In a unanimous judgment of a three-man panel of justices of the court, Adeyemi, who recently represented Kogi West Senatorial District in the Senate, was said to have failed to establish all allegations made against the conduct of the primary election by APC and its leaders.

Justice Mohammed Lawal Shuaib, who delivered the lead judgment, resolved all three issues in dispute against Adeyemi.

Shuaib said the allegations of manipulations and falsifications of the primary election results made by Adeyemi, being criminal, ought to have been proved beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.

He also dismissed another allegation by the appellant that he was denied a fair hearing by the Appeal Committee of the APC based on his petition against the alleged unlawful conduct of the primary election.

He said the issue of denial of a fair hearing was not raised in his originating summons at the Federal High Court, hence, cannot be raised as a fresh issue at the Court of Appeal.

In the absence of cogent and verifiable evidence on the part of Adeyemi, the Court of Appeal held that his allegations remained mere assertions that could not enjoy any probative value.

Justice Shuaib proceeded to dismiss the appeal for want of merit.

The Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja delivered on July 12 and which held that Adeyemi did not prove his allegations that Ododo was not lawfully nominated by the APC.