Ondo 2020: Supreme Court Upholds Akeredolu’s Victory
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The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 upheld the victory of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last governorship election in Ondo State.
In the majority judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, four of the seven-member panel dismissed the appeal by Eyitayo Jegede and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), because it was incompetent.
Mr Agim upheld an earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal, that the petition filed by Mr Jegede and his party at the election tribunal was incompetent because they failed to include the Yobe Governor and Chairman of the 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 the APC.
Mrs Odili and two other members of the panel were of the view that since the APC, for which Mr Buni acted, was a party in the case, there was no need to include him as a party.
The main appeal was filed by the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede against Mr Akeredolu, challenging the competence of APC’s sponsorship of Akeredolu for the election.
Mr Jegede approached the electoral petitions tribunal praying that the declaration of Mr Akeredolu as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be set aside.
He also prayed the apex court to declare him winner on grounds that the emergence of the APC candidate breached the nation’s constitution.