The Federal High Court Lagos Thursday, heard that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate representing Surulere Constituency II, Mrs. Mosunmola Sangodara, did not comply with the statutory requirements of the commission.
An Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officer in charge of Surulere Constituency, Mrs. Erhokpeadmwen Rita Awhefeda, made the allegation as a witness before Justice Nicholas Oweibo.
Awhefeda testified as a witness in a suit filed by an APC aspirant, Mr. Olasunkanmi Shittu.
Shittu, the plaintiff in Suit FHC/L/CS/1468/2022, is praying the court to disqualify Sangodara and declare him as the APC candidate for next year’s election.
INEC, Sangodara and the APC are the 1st to 3rd defendants in the suit.
At the resumption of proceedings, Awhefeda was cross examined by plaintiff’s counsel Dr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN.
Pinheiro confronted the witness with INEC form EC9 and asked her to tell the court whether all the conditions therein were mandatory or not.
The witness answered yes.
Pinheiro then asked her if the educational certificate columns were filled by the 2nd Defendant and attached.
Witness: “No.” She did not fill it
The lawyer then asked Awhefeda to confirm if Sangodara has properly met INEC conditions by not filling the educational certificate columns, which is arequirements of law.
*No she did not complied *
The witness, led by INEC’s counsel Mr. Ibrahim Olawale, had earlier adopted her witness statement on oath.
The court could not was constrained from taking Sangodara’s evidence.
Her counsel Oridate prayed the court to adjourn the suit because of an application he intended to file. He told the judge that tomorrow (Friday) would not be convenient.
But Pinheiro opposed him, arguing that an application for an adjournment was merely a ploy to “orchestrate undue delay.”
Justice Oweibo, in a bench ruling, upheld Pinheiro’s counter.
The judge reasoned that everybody must be prepared to make sacrifices in the interest of justice, going by a recent directive of the Chief Judge who has formed a task force on pre election matters.
He adjourned till Friday for Sangodara to give her evidence.
The Deputy Registrar of Yaba college of Technology Mr. Olufunmi Dada had earlier told the court that the candidate did not graduate from the school as an HND holder.