BY TOPE FAYEHUN, Akure
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has asked the governorship candidate in the 2020 election, Eyitayo Jegede to drop the idea of going to court to challenge his victory in the election and work with him to fast track the development of the state.
Akeredolu, reacting to the judgment of the Election Petitions Tribunal in Akure on Tuesday, said the verdict was a true reflection of people’s votes on his victory last year.
It would be recalled that the Election Petitions Tribunal had earlier dismissed the petition filed by Jegede against the re-election of Governor Akeredolu.
The tribunal struck out the petition for want of Jurisdiction.
According to the judgment, “Issues raised therein in this petition have settled the issue of internal affairs and management of a political party which has no jurisdiction”.
Reacting, Akeredolu said, “They have said that the Deputy Governor and I were duly returned as Deputy and governor of the state.
“So, I must use this opportunity to thank the people of this state for the confidence they reposed in us. The people have spoken and they cannot be wrong.”
According to the governor, “The result is there for all of us to see. It is a victory for all time and it has never happened in this state before, but we thank God for this victory.
“We thank God for the judgment of the tribunal. And I want to thank my brother, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), not just a brother but also my learned brother.
“He is somebody I respect a lot and he knows that; I see him as a friend. I want to call on him and implore him, let us join hands together, there is no need for litigation.
“I don’t see anything in it, let us come together, let us all join hands together to build this state together. There is room for many and more, and I believe that we can join hands together and work together to build the state.
“He loves the state and I don’t doubt it as a gentleman par excellence. I don’t see this as any victory: no victor, it is just gentleman contestants. Just like a game: you win some, you lose some; you can’t win them all. We thank God today that we are victorious.
“It was not just a victory, it was a double victory. We had people who went to court, about seven political parties against us at the Federal High Court, the case too was dismissed.
“There is no other thing, all I can say to you is that it is not me, it is not us; it is God, I give God all the glory. To God be the glory.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) in state and its candidate at the October 20, 2020 Governorship Elections, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, have vowed to appeal the judgment.
In a statement issued by Kennedy Ikantu Peretei, the state’s Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, the party assured its teeming members of victory at the appellate court.
“It is important to stress that, in its wisdom, the Tribunal admitted that issues raised by the petitioners were sufficient for consideration but constitutional, which the Tribunal is not in a position to do justice to. The interpretation of the constitution is a role reserved exclusively for the highest court in the land- the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“The constitution of every country is the document that regulates the actions and behavior of her citizens. Therefore, we believe that nobody can flagrantly trample on the 1999 Constitution (as Amended) and escape with the excuse that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction.
“The PDP is convinced that we have a strong case for which we shall be vindicated at the end of the day.
“We wish to appeal to all our party faithful to be steadfast and remain calm in the present circumstance, as we are sure of victory in the long run,” the statement said.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, has hailed the judgment of the State Governorship Election Tribunal, describing it as victory for the people of the state.
In a statement issued by the state’s Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaye, commended the 3-man Tribunal for being dispassionate and objective in considering all the arguments and counter-arguments assembled before it, while the trial lasted.
The party congratulated its Caretaker Chairman, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, its candidate in the election, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, his running mate, Hon. Lucky Ayedatiwa, and indeed the teeming supporters of APC in Ondo State. They have all been vindicated by the sound judgment.
The party further showers appreciation on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for adhering to what is fair and reasonable.
Kalejaye said, “We wonder how a candidate that scored three over 18 in an examination could expect to be declared successful, the People’s Democratic Party wanted victory through the backdoor.
The party advised the main opposition party to accept the judgment in good faith, and put its house in order, while preparing for future elections.