A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, November 16, 2020, fined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the December 5 Lagos-East Senatorial District Bye-Election, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi.
Justice Chuka Obiozor awarded a cost of N20,000 against him, to be paid to the All Progressives Congress (APC), its candidate in the election, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The judge made the order after Gbadamosi’s counsel, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, withdrew his motion seeking to amend an Originating Summons.
The first, second, and third defendants’ counsel Mr. Kemi Pinheiro SAN and Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko SAN had prayed the court to dismiss the motion and, in the alternative, to award cost against the plaintiff because counter-affidavits to the motion and cost follow the event.
INEC, Abiru, and the APC are the first to third defendants respectively in the suit marked, FHC/L/CS/1361/2020.
In a bench ruling, Justice Obiozor indicted his preference to take all applications along with the substantive suit.
He struck out the motion being withdrawn and awarded N20, 000 cost against the plaintiff in favour of the defendants.
The judge adjourned till December 9, for a definite hearing of all applications.
Mr. Abiru is vying to replace the APC’s Senator Bayo Osinowo, who died on June 15, reportedly following complications from the Coronavirus.
But his eligibility is being challenged by the PDP and Gbadamosi, who are first and second plaintiffs respectively.
Both are seeking to disqualify Abiru from contesting the election on the ground of alleged double voter registration and violation of section 31 of the Electoral Act.
But in their objections, Abiru and APC are, among others, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit on the ground that it is statute-barred, not having been filed within the 14 days stipulated by Section 285(9) of the Constitution.