Earlier today, Justice Joyce Abdulmalik of the Abeokuta Division of the Federal High Court dismissed a case filed by Olateju Olasunkanmi against the candidacy of Governor Dapo Abiodun.
In Suit No FHC/AB/CS/148/2022 Olateju Oluwatosin Olasunkanmi v. Prince Dapo Abiodun & 2 Ors, the Plaintiff asked the court to disqualify Governor Abiodun as the candidate of the APC in the 2023 governorship election for Ogun State.
Represented by Prof Taiwo Osipitan SAN and Kehinde Ogunwumiju SAN, Governor Abiodun and APC filed relevant court papers asking the court to decline jurisdiction in the suit and also to dismiss the case. Among other things, Governor Abiodun and APC argued that Mr Olasunkanmi was not an aspirant in the APC governorship primary elections and therefore lacked the legal standing to challenge the outcome of APC’s primary elections.
Confronted with the unimpeachable arguments of APC’s legal team, Mr Olasunkanmi withdrew the case this morning. A mild drama ensued in court when his lawyers, Professor Abiodun Amuda-Kannike SAN and Aare Isiaka Olagunju SAN, expressed surprise that their client had filed a notice and affidavit to discontinue the case.
Notwithstanding, after considering the submissions and documents, the court ruled that the Affidavit of discontinuance bore a passport photograph that was vividly Mr Olasunkanmi’s picture. The court also remarked that the signature on that affidavit tallied completely with the signature in previous affidavits filed by Olasunkanmi in the case. In view of that and without any claim disputing Olasunkanmi’s withdrawal, the court held the notice and affidavit of discontinuance to be credible and accordingly upheld them.
The court, therefore dismissed the case, thereby permanently barring Olasunkanmi from refiling a similar case in the future. Lawyers to APC and Governor Abiodun were magnanimous and did not make any application for costs.