Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications, has filed a suit against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) challenging his disqualification from participating in the governorship primary in Oyo State.
He instituted the action at the Federal High Court in Abuja, in which he noted that it was wrong for the APC to disqualify him from contesting for the governorship ticket because of his non-participation in the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC).
Shittu had insisted that he deliberately skipped participating in NYSC because he felt serving as a lawmaker at the time was "higher service".
According to The Nation, the writ by his counsel, A.U. Mustapha (SAN), the minister asked the court to determine five issues, which are:
"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, by the combined reading of Sections 176-183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [as Amended] and Article 20(iii) & (iv) of the Constitution of the All Progressive Congress; it is a condition that the gubernatorial aspirant of the 1st Defendant (APC) and/or any political party for that matter in Nigeria must present the National Youth Service Corps Discharge/Exemption Certificate;
"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.”