Court   Photo: NigeriaInforFM

An Ikeja High Court has joined Emmanuel Bamgboye as third defendant in a suit challenging the outcome of the All Progressives Congress (APC)  primary election for Mushin Local Government.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ishola Karaole, one of the aggrieved chairmanship aspirants in the May 27 primaries at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, had instituted the suit.

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Karaole contended that under the APC constitution, a candidate for the council chairman would be voted by delegates from the list of aspirants, but no delegates from the constituency were at the venue of the elections.

He said rather some candidates who were not elected according to the party’s guidelines were allegedly imposed on them by some chieftains of the party.

Following the May 27 primaries, Karaole filed a suit before Justice Olugbemiga Ogundare joining the APC and the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) as first and second defendants in the suit respectively.

Karaole, in his suit, is seeking an order of the court to declare that primaries held on May 27 in respect of the chairmanship of Mushin Council were contrary to Article 20(i),(ii),(iii) and (iv) of the APC constitution.

He wants an order that the state chapter of the APC did not hold primaries as there were no delegates and the names of imposed candidates were allegedly drawn up by some party members with a view to sending same to LASIEC.

He also sought an order of court to declare any list of returned APC candidates as null and void as they did not emerge trough a  democratic process as provided for by the party’s constitution.

He also asked the court to order fresh APC primaries before the elections scheduled for July 22.

NAN recalls that on July 14 when judgment was scheduled to be delivered in the case, Mr Emmanuel Bamgboye, claiming to be the winner of the May 27 primary elections, brought an application dated July 12 to be joined as a party to the suit.

Dele Adeshina (SAN), counsel to Bamgboye, had requested that the court should grant three orders —  an order granting leave to join Bamgboye as a defendant in the suit and an order joining Bamgboye as the third defendant.

The third is an order directing that all existing parties should serve Bamgboye the originating summons and applications filed in the case.

Adeshina had noted that his client was a necessary party in the suit.

“He is a necessary party, when proper parties are not before the court, the court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate in the matter.

“Joining this applicant will not do any harm to the case of the claimant in any shape or form. It is not a time barred judgment that must be concluded here and now.”

Nurudeen Ogbara, the counsel to Karaole, had opposed Bamgboye’s application noting that it is “dead on arrival.”

“It is brought without any modicum of bonafide. Bonafide is defined in Animashaun VS Oloto as ‘in good faith and without fraud.’

“He has not shown this court the result of the so called primary election that he was declared winner as well as his certificate of return,” he said.

Mr Ademola Adewale, counsel to the APC, in opposing Bamgboye’s application, said it was filed with the aim of preventing the judgment of the court from being read.

“The purport of the application is to arrest the judgment of the court fixed for today. They were aware of the suit and they came just a few days to judgment.

“They are taking advantage of our contested position as the ruling party in the state,” Adewale said.

Babs Animashaun, the counsel to LASIEC, however,said:“Justice delayed is justice denied, justice rushed is justice crushed.

“The duty of holding the balance lies with the court, the court should hand a decision which will give justice to the second defendant, applicant and other parties.”

Delivering a ruling on Tuesday, Justice Ogundare ordered that Bamgboye should be joined as a necessary party to the suit.

“The applicant has convincingly shown with his exhibits that he is not only interested in the suit but that the matter will be unfairly dealt with if he is not joined as a party.

“The applicant therein has a right to be joined as a party to the suit. I hereby give the following orders : an order that Hon. Emmanuel Bamgboye be joined as an applicant in this suit.

“An order that the applicant should be joined as a third defendant in this suit.

“The claimants and existing parties should amend the originating summons dated June 1 and other court processes to reflect the name of the third defendant.”

After the ruling was read, Ogbara, counsel to Karaole, urged the court to disallow Bamgboye from participating in the council elections scheduled for July 22.

“The third defendant should be restrained from participating in the election fixed for July 22.

“This should be in order to ensure a level playing field and to also ensure that the purpose of this case before this honourable court is not destroyed,” he said.

Opposing Ogbara’s submission, M.B. Jimoh-Akogun, one of the counsel to Bamgboye, said, “we refuse to join issues with the applicant on the oral application for injunction he made

“I urge my Lord to reject and disregard his application which cannot be entertained during vacation except before a regular judge.”

Justice Ogundare noted that the high courts are currently on vacation and as a result could not hear Ogbara’s application.

“This is not a vacation court, the court will send the case file to the Chief Judge for reassignment to a vacation judge,who will hear the case,” the judge ruled.