The Supreme Court in Abuja, at its hearing of appeals on the October 20, 2012 governorship election in Ondo State this morning, struck out the name of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) from the case on the ground that the party is no more in existence.
ACN, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Political Change (CPC) and a faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) recently merged to form a new party called All Progressives Congress (APC).
Following this, Lawyers representing Governor Olusegun Mimiko and Labour Party (LP), Chief Wole Olanipekun and Yufus Alli (SANs) respectively urged the court to strike out ACN’s name from the appeals since no party at the moment bears such name, saying that “ACN as a political party was dead”.
However, Wole Aina (SAN), who was the leading counsel to the defunct ACN candidate. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) at the court responded that the matter of the death of APC was a matter of evidence, insisting that the CAN still exist.
Yufus Alli particularly said the death of ACN was a notorious fact, saying the judges should at a matter of urgency take judicial step to address the issue.
But Aina, who applied orally for a change of ACN name to APC, was immediately tackled by Olanipekun who said the application lacked merit and that even it has any merit it ought to have been made by the APC or its counsel not Aina, who is a counsel to a candidate.
The Mimiko’s lawyer said “could APC had sponsored a candidate 2012 when it was not in existence”?
In his ruling shortly after a recess, Justice Waltal Umoughen said the Apex Court has no competence to grant the application of Akeredolu’s Counsel, stressing that ACN name was hereby struck out from the case.
Akeredolu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Olusola Oke are both challenging the victory of governor Olusegun Mimiko in the last governorship election in the state.
Their evidences relied on the fact that the 2012 voters register used for the poll was loaded with illegal names which was confirmed by the Appeal Court, but ruled on the ground that the evidence was not substantial enough to nullify the poll.