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Musiliu Obanikoro 'It lacks merit,' Court dismisses eligibility suit against Minister

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, Musiliu Obanikoro, has won a lawsuit filed against him by three PDP members after an Ikeja High Court Judge dismissed the suit on lack of merit, NAN reports.

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Musiiliu Obanikoro play

Musiiliu Obanikoro

(Punch)

Justice Kazeem Alogba of the Ikeja High Court has dismissed a suit seeking to stop Musiliu Obanikoro, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, from contesting for any elective office in Nigeria, saying it lacks merit, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The suit which was filed by three members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Babatunde Ogun, Suleiman Saheed and Wasiu Adeniyi Odusan, was struck out in a ruling on Thursday, March 19.

The judge held that the originating summons was incurably defective and lacking in merit.

Joined in the suit as respondents were the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the PDP.

According to NAN, the plaintiffs’ counsel, Wahab Shittu, had argued that Obanikoro was not eligible to contest for any political position in Nigeria.

He said this was based on the provision of Paragraph 4 (a) of Part iv of the Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections, 2014 of the INEC.

He alleged that the former Minister of State for Defence had dual citizenship and also presented a forged birth certificate to the INEC in December 2006.

In his ruling, the judge held that the originating summons lacked admissible evidence because all the documents tendered by the applicants were not certified true copies. He said some of the documents exhibited were gotten from the internet or mere photocopies which violate the provisions of Sections 105 and 106 of the Evidence Act 2011.

The court had earlier dismissed their ex parte motion seeking to restrain Obanikoro from participating in the PDP Lagos governorship primaries which was eventually won by Jimi Agbaje.

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