October 6, 2022

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Cancel primary results, Ondo APC chieftain tells court

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, Victor Ategbole, on Thursday urged the Federal High Court, sitting in Akure, the state capital, to cancel the results of the last primary of the party for House of Representatives in the Akoko South-East/Akoko South-West Federal Constituency of the state.

A son of late Governor Adebayo Adefarati, Adegboyega Adefarati, was declared the winner of the primary, defeating other aspirants, but one of the aspirants, Victor Ategbole, was not satisfied with the outcome as he approached the court, seeking nullification of the result of the primary.

The suit has Adefarati, the Independent National Electoral Commission and the state Chairman of the APC, Ade Adetimehin, as defendants.

At the first sitting of the court it was gathered that the defendants were not represented in court, and the case was adjourned. On the second sitting on Thursday, only the first defendant (Adefarati) was not represented in court, so the court ordered a substituted service on him.

According to the suit, the plaintiff alleged that the primary that produced Adefarati as the candidate was not conducted within the constituency. He also alleged that lawful delegates were disenfranchised as the venue of the primary was moved to Akure, outside the Akoko South-East/Akoko South-West Federal Constituency.

Delivering her ruling, Justice Demi Ajayi ordered that Adefarati be served a notice for his appearance in court in the interest of fair hearing. She also held that there was a need to have speedy hearing in the matter.

The judge ordered all parties involved to show seriousness and adjourned the case to October 5 and October 6, 2022 for hearing.

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Speaking to newsmen after the sitting, the counsel to the plaintiff, Remi Olatubora, explained that the court had ordered for substituted service so that there would be no complaint of shutting out anybody.

He said, “Adefarati has not been served personally and we came to court for an order of substituted service. It has been granted. Everybody has a right to fair hearing. Today, we got the order for substituted service. We are going to serve him and the authority of the court will do that.”

Also the plaintiff, Ategbole said he sued the defendants to ensure justice.

“I am a progressive democrat. I am in the court to ensure that justice is done. There was no primary in my constituency but a kangaroo primary was held in Dome in Akure, which is not part of our constituency. My plea is for the primary to be rerun in our federal constituency,” he explained.