The Oasis Reporters
March 28, 2019
It’s hard to say if former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose consulted the IBM’s Watson computer software for legal advice because those around him quoted him as saying that his former deputy, Professor Eleka would not only lose at the Ekiti State governorship election tribunal, but equally at the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court would upturn both lower courts judgements.
But that remains to be seen.
This is so because the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Thursday evening, affirmed that Governor Kayode Fayemi duly won the July 14, 2018 governorship election in Ekiti state.
The three-man panel, led by Justice Stephen Adah, in a unanimous judgment, dismissed the appeal filed by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP and its candidate in the election, Prof. Olusola Eleka.
Describing the appeal as “unmeritorious,” Justice Adah affirmed the July 28, 2019 judgment of the Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which had upheld Fayemi’s victory at the poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared that Fayemi and his party, the All Progressives Congress, polled a total of 197,459 votes to defeat Prof. Eleka and the PDP who who came second with 178,121 votes in the July 14, 2018 election.
Having suffered restrictions and prevented from last hour campaign work by Eleka and Fayose, PDP and the governorship candidate promptly filed their petition before the Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal which sat and delivered its judgment in Abuja.
The petitioners alleged, among others in their petition, that the election was marred by a lot of wrongs, including non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
But the tribunal on January 28, 2019 dismissed their petition and affirmed the results declared by INEC.
The petitioners further appealed to the Court of Appeal, raising seven issues against the judgment of the tribunal.
But delivering judgment, Justice Adah, who gave only a summary of the Court of Appeal’s verdict on Thursday, resolved all the seven issues raised against the appellants and in favour of the respondents — Fayemi, INEC and APC.
The court, which had conducted a hearing on the appeal earlier on Tuesday, dismissed the case in its judgment on Thursday for lacking in merit.
Justices Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson and Emmanuel Agim agreed with the lead judgment delivered by Justice Adah.
The three-man panel entered the courtroom at about 7pm on Thursday but started delivering the judgment at about 7.14pm.
The summary of the judgment given on Thursday lasted more than 30 minutes.
Alex Akojah, the lawyer who led the petitioners’ team to court on Thursday, told journalists after the judgment was delivered that the legal team would need to be informed by their clients on whether or not they would appeal against the judgment to the Supreme Court. But chances are that Eleka is Supreme Court bound, according to their original plan of action. Moreso as Olusola Eleka has been seen shuttling between Ibadan and Osogbo in upbeat mood, with the sudden resurgence of the PDP in the South West.
Additional reporting : Punch