Court Declares Lagos LGAs Primaries Illegal!
Justice Okuwobi of the Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court in a landmark judgment delivered today the 7th of July 2017 held that no primaries were held on the 27th May 2017 in respect of the Odi Olowo LCDA.
In a case brought by Hon Hakeem Abolaji Saka against the All Progressives Congress APC and Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission LASIEC ,Hon Saka had prayed the Court amongst other things that –
* No primaries were held on the 27th May in respect of the Odi Olowo APC LCDA Chairmanship office for the forthcoming LG elections slated for 22nd July 2017.
* Any primaries held were contrary to Article 20(i),(ii),(iii )&(iv) of the Party’sConstitution
*The State Chapter of the party did not hold primaries as there were no delegates . Names of imposed candidates were drawn up as returned with a view to sending to LASIEC 2nd Defendant as candidates of the party .
*Any lIst of returned APC Candidates is null and void as they did not emerge from democratic primaries as provided for by the Party’s Constitution.
At the hearing of the case the party APC through the office of the National Legal Adviser had informed the Court of its warning to the State Chapter to obey the provisions of the Party’s Constitution by organising delegates election . And to eschew imposition . The party also informed the Court of a similar warning to the State Chapter from the National Secretariat to ensure internal democracy by ensuring democratic primaries were held for all aspirants.
But the said warnings fell on deaf ears as the State Chapter was bent in imposing candidates contrary to sound advice.
Midway into the proceedings on Wednesday the 5th July 2017 when judgment was initially scheduled to have been delivered. A mild drama occurred as One Hon Razaq Ajala who claimed to have won the APC Chairmanship primaries for Odi Olowo LCDA brought an application to be joined as a party to the suit and the suit be heard all over again
[7/7, 16:24] A3: But in a ruling which preceded the judgment the Court dismissed the application of Ajala as lacking in merit and brought to frustrate the judgment in the Saka’s case which had been argued and reserved for judgment.
Coming to the substantive suit the Court held that –
* The concept of centralised primaries was unknown to the APC Constitution.
* No primaries were held in Odi Olowo LCDA.
*Any lIst of returned Candidates purported to have arisen from the 27 th May 2017 is null and void.
*In fact no APC primaries took place on the 27th May 2017 as the whole exercise ended in a fiasco.
*APC is immediately ordered to conduct fresh LG/LCDA primaries forthwith .
All the Claimant’s Hon Hakeem Abolaji Saka ‘s claim were granted .