- Rotimi Akeredolu on Wednesday, July 28, narrowly escaped being sacked as the governor of Ondo state
- This was as the Supreme Court upheld his victory in the October 10, 2020 governorship election via a four-to-three split decision
- Out of the seven members of the panel, three (who were in the minority) agreed that the appeal against Akeredolu had merit
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, July 28, upheld the victory of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in the October 10, 2020 governorship election in Ondo state.
However, it was a narrow victory for Governor Akeredolu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as they won via a split decision of four-to-three at the apex court.
Four of the seven-member panel, the majority said they found no reason to set aside the concurrent judgments of the Court of Appeal and the Ondo state governorship election petitions tribunal which had dismissed Jegede’s petition for lack of merit.
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However, the remaining three members of the panel upheld the appeal filed by Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Daily Trust reported.
What was the appeal?
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Akeredolu the winner of the October 2020 guber election after polling 292,830 votes and winning 15 of the 18 local governments to defeat Jegede who scored 195,791 votes.
However, Jegede headed to the tribunal to challenge Governor Akeredolu's nomination as the APC's candidate in the election.
He argued that Akeredolu's nomination was not valid because it was signed by Mai Mala Buni, a sitting governor (Yobe state) who doubles as the caretaker chairman of the APC.
Channels TV reported that Jegede's appeal was based on a constitutional provision that prohibits governors from holding executive positions outside their statutory position as governors.
Akeredolu’s candidacy is a nullity
Contrary to the majority judgement, three of the panel members upheld Jegede’s appeal that Akeredolu's nomination which was signed by Governor Buni was not valid under Section 183 of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999.
They insisted that Akeredolu’s candidacy in that election is a nullity.
The three Supreme Court justices held the view that the appeal has merit and ought not to be struck out by the appeal court.
Sanwo-Olu congratulates Akeredolu
Sanwo-Olu's congratulatory message is contained in a statement sent to Legit.ng by his chief press secretary, Gboyega Akosile, on Wednesday, July 28.
He also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as well as members of the party in Ondo and across the country on the victory.