Obanikoro opposes eligibility suit

 

Musiliu Obanikoro

BARELY 24 hours after he lost the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship ticket in Lagos, a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, on Tuesday asked a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja to dismiss a suit seeking to pronounce him ineligible to contest election into any political office in the country.

The applicants are members of the PDP, namely Micheal Ogun, Suleiman Saheed and Wasiu Odusan while the respondents are Obanikoro, the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The applicants had in an earlier ex parte application specifically asked Justice Kazeem Alogba to restrain Obanikoro from contesting the Monday’s governorship primary of the PDP in Lagos State.

But Justice Kazeem Alogba, rather than restrain Obanikoro from contesting the primary, had ordered the applicants to put him on notice and adjourned till Tuesday.

Obanikoro, however, lost the primary conducted on Monday to his prime contender, Mr. Jimi Agbaje.

At the resumed proceeding on Tuesday, Obanikoro responded with a preliminary objection filed through his counsel, Mr. Gbenga Ojo.

The applicants had asked the court to declare that Obanikoro was ineligible to stand for any   election in the country, having allegedly committed some crimes for which he had not been prosecuted .

Among other documents tendered before the court as exhibits was an American passport said to belong to Obanikoro but obtained under a false name.

There was also an international passport said to belong to the ex-minister but which carried a different age rather than the one Obanikoro had allegedly declared.

Describing the suit as speculative and an abuse of court processes, Obanikoro counsel, Ojo, asked Justice Alogba to dismiss it for failure to disclose any reasonable cause of action.

The thrust of his contention was that all the documents tendered as exhibits before the court by Obanikoro’s accusers were either uncertified public documents or documents that were printed from the Internet, which authenticity was not certified.

When the matter came up on Tuesday, counsel for the applicants, Wahab Shittu, told the court that he was prepared to move the originating summon.

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