The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure yesterday upheld the election of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, in the Ondo October 10, 2020, governorship election.
In a unanimous decision, the appellate court dismissed the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede for lacking in merit. It also stated that the candidates of All Progressives Congress (APC), Akeredolu, and his deputy, Aiyedatiwa, were validly nominated as candidates of the party.
The presiding judge, Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua, held that the appeal filed by Jegede lacked merit and consequently dismissed it.
Reacting to the judgement, PDP said they will challenge the Appeal Court decision at the Supreme Court.
Jegede and his party, in a statement issued by the Ondo State publicity secretary, Kennedy Ikantu Peretei, said: “We are confident the Supreme Court which is the highest court in the land will do justice.”
He added, “In concluding her lead judgement, Hon. Justice Theresa Orji-Abadua said the Appeal was partially dismissed and partially allowed. To the ordinary man in the street, the judgement was “inconclusive” and we must approach the Supreme Court to help them conclude the judgement.
“The kernel of the Eyitayo Jegede/PDP petition was whether or not a gross violation of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended) should be allowed to stay. Whether or not Mai Mala Buni, as a sitting governor of Yobe State can double as national chairman of All Progressives Congress, to sign the Nomination of Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN for the governorship election. While the Court of Appeal acknowledged that it was a violation of the Constitution, it still went ahead to dismiss the appeal.”
Meanwhile, the governing APC has described the judgement as, “an affirmation of the people’s decision.”
The party’s reaction comes as Akeredolu extended the olive branch to Jegede.
Reacting to the judgement, Akeredolu told journalists in Abuja that he had overtime personally urged the PDP to jettison the idea of pursuing the matter in court but join him to build the state.
He said, “I have said this over and over, this case itself is so flimsy for me as a person. And it is clear, because where you believe that you can go through the back door and upturn the will of the people, it is not going to work.”