The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, has dismissed the appeal filed by a former Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Smart Adeyemi, seeking to nullify the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which produced Ahmed Ododo as the party’s flagbearer for the state governorship election in November.
The court, while dismissing the appeal by another APC governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Kogi state, Abubakar Achimugu, held in a unanimous judgement that both appeals, challenging the judgement of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, lacked merit.
A three-member panel led by Justice Muhammed Shuaibu, while delivering judgement in Adeyemi’s appeal, held that, the former lawmaker failed to prove the criminal allegations in his case.
Justice Lawal held that the burden of prove lies on the plaintiff who alleges irregularities in the conduct of the primary election of the APC. adding that falsification of votes is a criminal act and allegations must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja had, in a judgement delivered on July 12, held that Adeyemi did not prove his allegation that Ododo was not lawfully nominated by the APC.
Dissatisfied with the judgement which affirmed the primary election that produced Ododo as candidate of the party, Adeyemi approached the appellate court to set aside the judgement.
In same vein, the governorship aspirant in his appeal prayed the court to order the APC to conduct a fresh primary election and give all aspirants equal opportunity as prescribed by the Electoral Act, 2022.
Similarly. the Court also dismissed Achimugu’s appeal against a judgement of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which affirmed Ahmed Ododo as the APC governorship candidate in Kogi state.
Achimugu approached the trial court with a suit seeking to disqualify Ododo on the grounds that he did not resign his employment with the Kogi State public service 30 days before contesting the governorship primary election.
But the court, in its judgment held that contrary to the claim of Achimugu, evidence showed that Ododo resigned his appointment more than 30 days before participating in the APC primary election.