Court strikes out Shittu’s NYSC certificate suit

Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu

A Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan on Friday struck out the suit filed by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, against his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), for refusing him participation in the party’s primaries.

Shittu had sought to contest the party’s governorship primaries in Oyo State but was delisted on allegation of non-possession of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.

Shittu’s counsel, Abdulhakeem Mustafa, had, among other things, urged the court to determine whether the ground for disqualifying his client was lawful or a contravention of the constitution.

Mr Mustafa argued that Nigeria’s Constitution required anyone seeking to be a state governor to possess a maximum of Senior Secondary School Certificate and not necessarily an NYSC certificate.

Justice P. I. Ajoku dismissed the suit on the ground that Shittu did not comply with section 285(9) of the Nigerian Constitution when he failed to file the case within 14 days which the Constitution allows.

The judge said the constitution did not make provision for extension of time in electoral-related matters and that Shittu erred when he said he tried to explore the seven-day internal mechanism for the settlement instead of filing the case in court.

Ajoku also said that the Supreme Court had ruled that courts should not allow technicality in pre-election and post-election matters.