Court dismissed Smart Adeyemi suit against Ahmed Dododo’s nomination

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed the pre election suit filed by Sen. Smart Adeyemi, challenging the primary election victory of Ahmed Ododo.

Ododo won the primary and was returned as the governorship candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC) for Kogi State governorship election scheduled for November 16 ,2023.

Adeyemi, a former lawmaker ,had vigorously sought the nomination. He said he would approach the Court of Appeal to challenge the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja which affirmed the primary election of Ahmed Ododo.

Justice James Omotosho in his judgment on the suit marked FHC/CS/556/2023,held that Adeyemi’s allegations were criminal in nature, as he alleged that elections did not hold and that the produced results were forged.

He said the plaintiff needed to prove the allegations of forgery, falsification of results beyond reasonable doubts.

The court noted that the burden of proof was on the applicant to produce the forged result or the original and the forged results to discharge the burden, adding that failure to discharge the burden was fatal to the case of the applicant.

Justice Omotosho said that contrary to the position of the plaintiff, there was evidence that the primary election was validly held and monitored by INEC.

It held that allegations the plaintiff raised in the suit were criminal in nature and therefore ought to be proved beyond every reasonable doubt.

The judge held that Adeyemi failed to discharge the burden of proof that was placed on him by the law.

“There is enough proof before this court to slow that indeed a direct primary election of the APC held in Kogi state on April 14.”

The judge said that Adeyemi had lodged a complaint after he lost the election before an appeal committee that was constituted by the APC.

The court held that the evidence before it showed that Adeyemi failed to appear before the committee to prove his allegations.

The court said it found no reason to invalidate the outcome of the primary election.Consequently, the judge dismissed the suit as lacking in merit.

The former lawmaker who spoke to newsmen through his counsel, Mr Adekunle Ottitoju, said he was heading to the Court of Appeal to challenge the judgment of the lower court.

Stating that he was dissatisfied with the judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja , which dismissed his case, Adeyemi insisted that the primary election was not held in compliance with the APC and Electoral Act guidelines.

He had in the suit prayed the court to order the APC to conduct a fresh primary election and to give all aspirants an equal opportunity as provided for in the Electoral Act, 2022.

He insisted that the trial court failed to properly evaluate the proof of evidence that was placed before it by the parties, adding that there were inconsistencies in the report that was tendered by the INEC and affidavit that was deposed to by the APC.