The Federal High Court, Akure Judicial Division, has ruled that Prince Abiodun Derin Adesida is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akure and Akure South Federal Constituency in the 2023 general elections.
Adesida was declared winner of the APC primary election conducted on May 27, 2022, after scoring 65 delegate votes to defeat Mayokun Lawson-Alade who secured 44 votes and Dennis Fadairo who clinched three votes.
Not satisfied with the outcome of the nomination exercise, Lawson-Alade, who is the lawmaker representing the Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, approached the court, seeking its declaration that he was the winner of the shadow poll.
He joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC in the suit.
Delivering her judgment on Monday, Justice Adefunmilola. A Demi-Ajayi of the Federal High Court 2 affirmed the election of Adesida as the APC standard bearer.
The court based its decision on the failure of the Applicant to join Adesida in the suit, saying this was fatal to his case since grating his prayer would amount to the violation of the fundamental human right of the winner of the primary election to fair hearing.
Justice Demi-Ajayi also said that the purported report of the APC Appeal Committee relied upon by Lawson-Alade could not be used to invalidate the outcome of the primary election won by Adesida.
According to the judge, the Applicant also failed to go through all the crisis-resolving mechanisms of the APC as required by the constitution of the party before approaching the court.
She, therefore, dismissed the suit and declared Adesida as the APC candidate for the Federal Constituency in next year’s National Assembly elections.
In his reaction to the judgment, Adesida declared that there was no victor, no vanquished in the matter, appealing to Lawson-Alade and his supporters to sheathe their swords.
He said: “In this matter, I don’t see anybody as the victor or the vanquished. The legal process we just went through is normal in every democratic setting.
“We are members of the same APC family. We have the interest of our Federal Constituency and our people at heart. I believe that’s why we are longing to serve them.
“By now, the storm should be over. I appeal to my dear brother, Mayokun, and his supporters to sheathe their swords. Let us come together and ensure victory for our party in the 2023 general elections.
“I promise there won’t be any form of discrimination against anyone. We all belong to the same family.”