Ekiti Guber: Court Dismissal Of Oni’s Case Against Fayemi, Will The Tit For Tat End?

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The Oasis Reporters

December 12, 2018

Kayode Fayemi (left), Segun Oni.

The Federal High Court has dismissed a case brought by a governorship aspirant of the APC, Chief Segun Oni, challenging the eligibility of Dr Kayode Fayemi as the candidate of the party in the last governorship election in Ekiti State.

Justice Uche Agomoh said in her judgement that Oni’s case “lacked merit” and dismissed it.

She disagreed with the claimants that Fayemi was ineligible to stand the election on the basis of his involvement by a judicial commission of inquiry and that as “a public servant,” he did not resign 30 days to election.

Despite finally belonging to the same party, from different parties initially, Segun Oni never really forgot that he won the Ekiti governorship election in 2007. Kayode Fayemi had approached the court that there were breaches in the obedience of party guidelines as regards the resignation from public office, 30 days before running for a party post. They say Fayemi did not comply.

Segun Dipe, journalist and political analyst from Ado Ekiti had written that
“for Engineer Segun Oni to be crying foul at this point is to be violating a strong equity maxim, which forbids anyone coming to equity doing so with unclean hands. As far as elections are concerned in Ekiti, whether primary or general, history is unkind to Oni. He is a renowned power hijacker, having never won any election fair and square. Oni came third in the primaries within the PDP fold in 2007, yet was imposed on those who came first and second and was eventually declared the winner at the general election. But after three and a half years of legal tussle, the appeal court sitting in Kwara State declared Oni as a usurper and declared Fayemi as the duly elected Governor of Ekiti State on 15 October 2010, thus putting an end to Oni’s pyrrhic victory and the beginning of the October 16 swearing-in for emerging governors in Ekiti.

Yet so far in Ekiti politics, Oni is the most favoured. He can be regarded in the Yoruba parlance as _*“O je n’igbo eegun, je n’igbo oro.”*_ Meaning one who has successfully oscillated between the two major political parties, PDP and APC, and getting the juiciest appointments for himself, at both the state and the national levels. Oni was a governor, Vice Chairman. South West of PDP, Deputy National Chairman South of APC and currently Chairman of the Nigerian Export Processing Zone. All these, he achieved without a clear victory at any election.

This certainly is not the kind of credential Oni would love to parade as a just fellow. Lest he fails to realise it, he has been carrying himself as someone not to be trusted with power in APC again, being a sworn ally of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. Not a few see Oni as guilty by association, believing that he definitely has one leg in APC and the other one outside of the party. It is in this light that anyone who argues that Oni is prosecuting his case against Fayemi with the best of intentions will be seen as an enemy of the party, APC, and the state, Ekiti.”

The next few days will determine whether Segun Oni would lick his wounds quietly, or proceed to the Court of Appeal to try and upturn this victory by Kayode Fayemi or simply let bygone by bygone.

Whichever ever way it goes, there’s another river for Fayemi to cross. There’s the bigger challenge by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP tribunal case against his victory to contend with. It will determine whether Fayemi will continue as the Ekiti State governor, or vacate the seat for Prof. Eleka, who was deputy governor to former governor Ayo Fayose. Ekiti State reputed to have one professor every square meter has always waited for the courts to give them a governor, at times, years after the election has been concluded.

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Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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