Abiru: Court fixes March 1 for judgement in disqualification suit

Polaris Bank CEO Tokunbo Abiru

The Federal High Court, Lagos has fixed March 1, 2021, to deliver judgment in respect of the bye-election for the Lagos East Senatorial District held on December 5, 2020.

The court fixed the date on Friday after the conclusion of arguments by counsel to all the parties.

The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the said election Babatunde Gbadamosi had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, Senator Tokunbo Abiru, and the All Progressives Congress to court, seeking to disqualify him from contesting the election on the ground of double voter’s registration and violation of section 31 of the Electoral Act, amongst others.

In the suit filed on its behalf by human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, the PDP is seeking an order of the court directing INEC to delete the name of Abiru and the APC from the list of the candidates and political parties to participate in the bye-election.

It is also asking for an order nullifying, cancelling, and voiding the nomination, submission, and acceptance of the name of Abiru as the candidate of the APC for the bye-election and an order disqualifying Abiru as a candidate in the bye-election.

In their responses to the case, INEC, Abiru and APC contended that the case of the plaintiffs lacks merit as the candidate was duly nominated and qualified for the said bye-election.

In particular, Abiru and APC, through their counsel, Kemi Pinheiro and Abiodun Owonikoko raised preliminary objections to the suit, contending that same was statute-barred not justiciable in law.

Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court, Lagos consequently fixed the day of judgement after all the lawyers addressed the court, adopted their respective processes and concluded arguments on the case.