Edo 2014 primaries: Supreme Court sacks APC lawmaker

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal brought before it by a member of the Edo Sate House of Assembly representing Ovia South West, Sunday Aghedo and his party, All Progressive Congress (APC), claiming it has right to choose a candidate.
The apex court ordered Hon. Aghedo to refund all salaries and allowances he collected from Edo State House of Assembly from May 2015, to date to the Edo State House of Assembly within 90 days.
The Apex Court in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Dantijo Mohammed, declared Mr. Godwin Adenomo also of the APC the winner of the general election in Ovia South- West constituency of Edo State House of Assembly held on 11, April 2015.
In its ruling, the court sustained the judgment of Court of Appeal Benin Division and held that Adenomo won the APC primary election conducted by the APC on December 2, 2014, for nominating the party’s candidate for the general election held on 11, April 2015.
Therefore, the court ordered the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly to swear in Adenomo as member of the Assembly representing Ovia South West constituency.
The court also awarded N300, 000 costs against Aghedo the appellant who had challenged the decision of the Court of Appeal Benin Division delivered by Justice Moore Asiemo Adumein.
The legal framework arose from primary election in which Mr. Adenomo scored the highest votes cast at the primaries for Ovia South-West constituency in the State House of Assembly scoring 152 votes against 140 scored by Mr. Aghedo.
But, instead of submitting Adenomo’s name, his opponent’s name was forwarded as the party’s candidate for the election and the three-man appeal panel set up by the party to look into his complaint, upheld the decision of the party.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the party’s appeal panel, Adenomo dragged the APC and the primary election Committee to court over imposition of Aghedo as the winner of the party primaries to the State House of Assembly in 2014.
The defendant contended that he won the primaries but was denied the party’s ticket which was given to Aghedo.
The Federal High Court sitting in Benin in its judgement ordered the APC to conduct a fresh primary for the position, but Adenomo rejected the ruling and headed for the appellate court.
The Court of Appeal set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court and declared Adenomo winner of the election.
Also not satisfied with the ruling, the APC went to the Supreme Court claiming it has the right to sponsor a candidate of its choice.

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