Senator Smart Adeyemi and four other aspirants have asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to nullify the April 14 primary election of All Progressives Congress (APC) for Kogi state governorship election which produced Ahmed Usman Ododo as the candidate for the election scheduled for November 11, 2023.
Aside Adeyemi, the other aspirants who want the primary to be annulled are Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, son of a former governor of Kogi; a former Minister of State for Labour, Prof. Stephen Ocheni; Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, Murtala Yakubu Ajaka and Dr. Sanusi Ohiare.
They described the direct primary election conducted by APC which produced Ododo as the governorship candidate of the party as illegal in the suits filed by Mr Adekunle Otitoju on behalf of Adeyemi and Audu.
They alleged that the election and subsrquent emergence of Ododo ran foul of Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution.
They claimed it was also contrary to Section 29 and 84 of the Electoral Act as well as Article 20 of the APC Constitution.
The plaintiffs are praying the court to amongst others, invoke Section 177 of the Constitution, Section 29 and 84 of the Electoral Act and Article 20 of the APC Constitution to declare the purported primary election invalid.
They also asked the court for an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject and refuse to recognise the name of Ododo as APC’s governorship candidate.
This, they said was on the grounds that he emerged from an invalid primary election.
The aggrieved governorship aspirants also prayed for an order compelling APC to conduct a fresh primary election and to give all aspirants equal opportunity as prescribed by the Electoral Act, 2022.
In a 35-paragraph affidavit in support of his originating summons, Adeyemi claimed to have obtained his nomination and expression of interest form at N50 million.
He said he was subsequently screened and cleared to participate in the primary election slated for April 14.
He further claimed that while waiting at his constituency to cast his vote along with his people, he was shocked when information came to him that the purported primary election had been conducted and a purported winner had emerged.
Addressing newsmen shortly after filing the suit, Adeyemi and Audu described the purported primary that produced Ododo as a phenomenal rape of democracy.
He said it must not be allowed to stand if democracy was to thrive in the country.
Similarly, Audu said that what happened in Kogi during the purported primary election was contrary to the constitution, and should not be allowed to stand.
They called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the President-elect, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Vice- President-elect, Sen. Kashim Shettima and the Arewa Consultative Forum to intervene in order to save democracy in Kogi.