The Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole has found himself in deep waters over his aspiration to represent Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency, as his name is missing on the list of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Even more troubles for Kolawole, as his runner up in the May 27th primary election, Segun Olobatoke has asked the Federal High Court to disqualify the Speaker from contesting the 2023 general elections.
Olobatoke has also approached the court to order APC to accept and submit his name to INEC as its House of Representatives candidate for Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency.
In the suit marked FHC/LKJ/CS/37/2022 and filed on July 1, Olobatoke has APC, INEC and Kolawole as first, second and third defendants respectively.
Olobatoke argued that Kolawole ought to be disqualified from participating in the 2023 elections for giving false information in the affidavit and documents submitted by the Speaker in relation to his constitutional requirements to contest the 2015, 2019 and 2023 general elections.
He urged the court to declare him winner of the May 27 primary election having scored the second highest number of lawful votes and satisfied the constitutional requirements.
Olobatoke also sought an order of the court directing APC to submit his name to INEC as its House of Representatives candidate for Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency.
When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, there was no appearance for either of the defendants.
The Presiding Judge, Justice P.H. Mallong adjourned the case to Friday 15th July 2022.
At the hearing Friday, Justice Mallong adjourned the matter to next week.
The Speaker, according to investigations, has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Federal High Court, Lokoja over the continued failure to upload his name on the electoral umpire’s portal as the rightful House of Representatives candidate for 2023 general elections.
Prince Kolawole, in the suit marked FHC/LKJ/CS/35/2022 and filed on June 28 by his lawyer, M.Y. Abdullahi, sought an order of the court mandating INEC to unconditionally accept and publish his name as the duly sponsored candidate of APC for Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency towards the 2023 general elections.
The suit listed INEC and APC as first and second defendants respectively.
In the originating summons, Kolawole explained that he won the May 27, 2022 APC primary election, having polled the highest lawful votes cast.
Kolawole explained that while the party, APC, tried to upload relevant details of his particulars but failed because of network issues on INEC portal.
“That upon discovery of the rejection of my name by the 1st defendant’s portal, I made several attempt to persuade the 2nd Defendant to keep the effort on in uploading my personal details but I was made to understand that the problem is from the 1st Defendant’s portal.
“On the 24th day of June, 2022 the 1st Defendant published the names of sponsored candidate of the 2nd Defendant for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria and and the space for Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency is empty because the 1st Defendant’s online portal failed to allow the upload of my personal details.”