A Federal High Court in Abuja, has dismissed a suit seeking the removal of Kola Abiola as the People’s Redemption Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 election.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a judgment on Thursday held that the suit filed by an aspirant, Patience Key, was statute-barred, and hence, the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain it.
The judge explained that the suit was a pre-election matter and ought to have been instituted within 14 days from the date of the occurrence of the cause of action in compliance with Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution.
He agreed with the defendants that though the PRP presidential primary election was conducted on June 5, the plaintiff filed the suit on June 28, when the case ought to have been instituted not later than June 19.
Mohammed held that though the aspirant raised weighty allegations against the conduct of the poll, which she alleged was marred by irregularities, vote buying, non-compliance with Section 84 of the Electoral Act, and gross violations of the party’s guidelines for the conduct of primaries, these could not take pre-eminence over failure to file the case within the time prescribed by law.
The judge consequently dismissed the suit for lack of jurisdiction because it had been barred by statute.
The plaintiff sued the PRP, the Independent National Electoral Commission and Abiola as the first, second and third defendants on June 28, NAN reports.
Key had challenged, among other things, the emergence of Abiola as the party’s presidential candidate in her earlier originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1001/2022.
She had prayed to the court to nullify the poll that produced Abiola as the PRP’s presidential candidate, among others.
Speaking with NAN in a phone interview shortly after the case, Key said while she did not expect the judgement to go that way, she was, however, not surprised.
In a separate remark, counsel for the PRP, Benjamin Ogar, said he was elated with the outcome of the case.
Ogar said the judge had just reiterated a well-known principle of law that would stand the test of time.