A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, against the victory of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the All Progrssives Congress (APC).
With a split decision of four-to-three, the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the victory of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of APC in the last governorship election in Ondo State.
In the majority judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, four of the seven-member panel, dismissed the appeal by Eyitayo Jegede and his party, the PDP on the grounds that it was incompetent.
Justice Agim upheld an earlier judgement of the Court of Appeal, that the petition filed by Jegede and his party at the election tribunal was incompetent because they failed to include Yobe Governor and Chairman of ther Caretaker Committee of the APC, Mai Mala Buni, as a party.
In the minority judgment read by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, the court upheld the appeal and dismissed the cross appeal by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Akeredolu and APC.
Odili and two other members of the panel were of the view that since APC, for which Buni acted, was a party in the case, there was no need to include him as a party.
Candidate of PDP, Jegede had proceeded to the apex court to challenge Governor Akeredolu’s declaration by the INEC as the winner of the October 10, 2020, Ondo State governorship election.
Jegede challenged the eligibility of Akeredolu (SAN) on the grounds that his nomination letter was signed by his counterpart from Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, who incidentally is the Chairman, APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC put in place at an emergency National Executive Committee of the party, last year, a sequel to its dissolution of the National Working Committee led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital had last June dismissed the appeal filed by the PDP Governorship Candidate against the pronouncements of the Election Petition Tribunal.
Reading the judgement, Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua, had said the case filed by Jegede lacked merit.