The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, yesterday affirmed the 2015 election of Mr James Abiodun Faleke as the member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency I at the House of Representatives.
The appellate court, in a unanimous decision, dismissed an appeal filed by Mr. Kunle Okunola challenging the legality of Faleke’s transfer of his voter’s card and data back to Lagos from Kogi State.
The court also awarded costs against the appellant for the first and second respondents in the appeal – Faleke and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Okunola’s journey to the court followed INEC’s declaration of Faleke, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the 2015 poll.
He challenged Faleke’s victory and lost at the Elections Petition Tribunal and the Election Appeals Tribunal.
Dissatisfied, the appellant took advantage of Faleke’s foray into Kogi State to contest the seat of deputy governor, to ask the Federal High Court for three reliefs, including a declaration that Faleke’s seat had become vacant and to compel INEC to declare him winner.
According to him, Faleke’s nomination by the APC for the March 28, 2015 poll, and his subsequent nomination as deputy governorship candidate for the November 21, 2015 gubernatorial election of Kogi State, during his subsisting membership of the House of Representative as a member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency I, amounts to multiple nomination, hence unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
He also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from any further reversal or transfer of Faleke’s voting and membership data from Ekinrin-Ade Ward in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State to the Ikeja Federal Constituency I of Lagos State.
But the lower court dismissed the application as lacking in merit and a waste of resources and time of the court.
It held that nothing prevented or stopped anyone from moving freely within the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Reacting to the victory, Faleke’s lead counsel, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), expressed his satisfaction with the judgment delivered by their lordships.
“It succinctly captured the position of the law. I am relieved that the unnecessary legal battle has come to a final end,” Oyewole added.
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