By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, declined an interlocutory application to nullify the Lagos State APC Congress held on May 12, 2018.
The application was filed by Bunmi Tayo Church, an aggrieved member of the party, who had challenged the APC congress held in Lagos.
Ruling on the application, Justice Nyako said that it will be unfair to stop the Balogun faction in view of the limited time to the convention slated for June 23, 2018 in Abuja.
The Plaintiff in the application prayed the court to grant an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (2nd respondent) from giving effect to the May 12, congress which ushered in new executives of the Lagos State chapter of the APC.
He wanted the court to restrain the Hon Babatunde Balogun led executive committee of APC from participating in the June 23 National Convention of the party.
Justice Nyako’s ruling was delivered by Justice Babatunde Quadri in accordance with the provision of Order 23 Rule 2, of Federal High Court (Civil Procedures) Rule.
Setting aside the application, the judge held that the principle of fair hearing would be breached since only one person instituted the court action out of 1885 delegates who participated in the congress.
According to the court, the plaintiff was just one out of 1,885 delegates who participated in the exercise, and that the others were not parties in the suit.
Further in her ruling, the judge held that the outcome of the suit would affect hundreds of delegates, reasoning that not having them as necessary parties would deny them fair hearing if the application is granted.
The court stated that the applicant having not participated in the May 12 congress, cannot use the interlocutory application to challenge the outcome of the congress.
Justice Nyako held that the Tayo Church did not help himself in his claim that he was prevented from participating at the state congress.
The court maintained that it is a law that anyone who did not take part in an election cannot challenge the outcome of that election.
Justice Nyako said, “It is premature at this stage to grant this interlocutory application. It fails and cannot be granted because all the necessary parties would who would be affected by the outcome of order are not before this court”.
Therefore, Justice Nyako ordered that the originating summons filed by the plaintiff/applicant, through his counsel, Akin Olujimi (SAN) be given accelerated hearing.
However, after reading the ruling, Justice Quadri did not give a definite date for the hearing of the originating summons.
He said that Justice Nyako will fix a convenient date for her to hear the matter