28th July, 2021
Supreme Court justices on Wednesday were split 4-3 over whether to uphold the re-election of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as Ondo State governor.
The candidate of PDP, Eyitayo Jegede had filed an appeal at the court, demanding that Akeredolu’s victory be cancelled.
But majority of the justices upheld Akeredolu’s election.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, who delivered the majority verdict dismissed the appeal by Eyitayo Jegede and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the grounds that it was incompetent.
Justice Agim upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which invalidated the petition filed by Jegede over the omission of Yobe Governor and Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the APC, Mai Mala Buni as a party.
The Appeal court said the petition was incompetent.
Justice Mary Peter-Odili, who read the minority verdict, upheld Jegede’s appeal.
She dismissed the cross appeal by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Akeredolu and the APC.
Odili said since the APC was a party in the case, there was no need to include Buni as a party.
Jegede had filed the appeal challenging the competence of APC’s sponsorship of Akeredolu for the election.
He had approached the election petitions tribunal praying that the declaration of Akeredolu as the winner of the election by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be set aside.
When he lost, he went to the appeal court.
On 16 July, the Court of Appeal led by Justice Theresa Orji-Abadua dismissed the petition and affirmed Akeredolu as the winner of the poll.
Out of the seven issues tabled for judgment, the court resolved four and half in favour of Jegede and the rest two and half in favour of Akeredolu.
Not satisfied with the decision of the Appellate Court, both Akeredolu, Jegede, and INEC approached the Supreme Court for the invalidation of both the Election Petition Tribunal and Appeal Court.
Jegede prayed the apex court to declare him winner on grounds that the emergence of the APC candidate breached the nation’s constitution.