Senator Ademola Adeleke, representing Osun West Senatorial District, has been declared by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja as having the requisite qualification to contest the Osun State governorship election on September 22, 2018.
Justice Othman Musa of the Federal Capital Territory High Court had on April 4, 2019, disqualified the candidacy of Adeleke, who was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State.
Justice Musa had disqualified Adeleke from the contest of the said election on the ground that he did not possess the requisite qualification.
But in a unanimous judgment on Thursday, the Court of Appeal said that the suit filed by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the FCT High Court challenging Adeleke’s qualification was a pre-election matter, brought outside the 14 days allowed by the law.
Delivering the lead judgment, Justice Emmanuel Agim held that being a pre-election matter the suit ought not to have been filed 43 days after the appellant had submitted the alleged forged WAEC certificate.
Justice Agim observed that the trial court delivered its judgment on the suit 209 days instead of the 180 days constitutionally stipulated for judgment for the trial courts on pre-election matters.
The appellate court further faulted the decision of Justice Musa on the ground that the FCT High Court had no powers to set aside the decision of Osun State High Court.
Consequently, Justice Agim resolved the five issues raised in the appeal filed by Adeleke in his favour.
In addition, Agim declared the judgment delivered by Justice Othman Musa of the FCT High Court void, having been delivered outside the 180 days.
He declared the decision of the FCT High Court a nullity.
The Court of Appeal also held that the FCT High Court had no jurisdiction to have entertained a suit whose cause of action arose from Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, where Adeleke submitted the alleged forged certificate.
The appellate court said it was curious that the trial court also subpoenaed some evidences and exhibits such as the affidavit evidence from WEAC but woefully failed to consider them in his judgment.
The appellate court said Justice Musa had no jurisdiction to sit on appeal over the decision of court of coordinate jurisdiction, particularly as the judgment bound all including the FCT High Court.