The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, has dragged his political party, the All Progressives Congress, APC to court, following his alleged disqualification from the party’s governorship primary in Oyo State.
The ruling party stopped the Minister from continuing his gubernatorial race through screening after he failed to present a National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, discharge certificate.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that Shittu in the originating summons argued that it was wrong for APC to disqualify him for not presenting the certificate.
The Oyo-born politician also said that participation in the NYSC scheme was not a condition precedent to be satisfied before he was appointed a minister.
He, therefore asked the court to among other things, determine “whether by the provision of Section 2(1) of the National Youth Service Corps Decree No. 24 of 1973 and/or any other provision of the Decree being the law in force as at 1978 when the Plaintiff graduated at the University of Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) he was under any legal obligation to have warranted the plaintiff’s participation in the National Youth Service Corps in the absence of a call-up instrument duly served on the Plaintiff by the National Youth Service Corps.
”Whether it is ultra vires the powers of the 1st defendant to have disqualified the plaintiff from participating in its primary election for nomination of the governorship candidate of the 1st defendant in Oyo State for the 2019 General Election on the ground that the plaintiff does not possess National Youth Service Corps Discharge/Exemption Certificate;
”Whether it does not amount to denial of fair hearing as enshrined in section 36(1) of the 1999 constitution of as amended for the 1st defendant to have purportedly disqualified the plaintiff from contesting for governorship election in Oyo State under the platform of the 1st defendant without availing the Plaintiff an opportunity to be heard on the allegations that the plaintiff avoided the National Youth Service Scheme; and
”Whether by the combined reading of the provisions of Sections 147(5), 65(1)(b) & (2), 66 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 12 of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap N84 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the plaintiff was qualified to have been appointed as a Minister capable of holding the office, and/or any other governmental office at any level notwithstanding the fact that he did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme.”
In an affidavit, the Minister personally swore to and filed by A.U. Mustapha, his counsel, Shittu said there was no “call-up instrument” served on him when he graduated.