Ondo Poll: Buhari, APC, Sanwo-Olu, Jedege, others congratulate Akeredolu as Supreme Court upholds victory

* Akeredolu thanked people of Ondo State, legal team for their patience and resilience

WorldStage Newsonline—Congratulatory messages have been pouring in for Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Supreme Court, in a split judgment of four-to-three, on Wednesday upheld his victory in the Oct. 10, 2020 governorship election.

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), on the grounds that it was incompetent.

Agim upheld an earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal in a suit filed by Jegede and his party which was earlier dismissed as incompetent, having failed to include Yobe governor and Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the APC, Mai Mala Buni, as a party.

But 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 APC.

Odili and two other members of the panel were of the view that since the APC, for which Buni acted, was a party in the case, there was no need to include him as a party.

The main appeal was filed by Jegede, the candidate of the PDP, challenging the competence of APC’s sponsorship of Akeredolu for the election.

Jegede had approached the elections petitions tribunal praying that the declaration of Akeredolu as the winner of the election by INEC should be set aside.

He also prayed the apex court to declare him winner on the grounds that the emergence of the APC candidate breached the nation’s constitution.

On June 16, 2020, the Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua-led Court of Appeal sitting in Akure had dismissed the PDP’s candidate’s petition, upholding the result of the election that declared Akeredolu winner.

AKEREDOLU

Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and Dr Ajayi Boroffice, the Deputy Leader of the Senate, have lauded the Supreme Court’s judgment on Oct. 10 governorship election in the state.

The governor, at a news conference in Akure, thanked the people of Ondo State and his legal team for their patience and resilience during the trials.

Akeredolu said his legal team worked tremendously to ensure that justice prevailed, and all efforts to return him to office was not in futility.

“The judgment in total, from the results of tribunal to Supreme Court, shows that I had a gallant victory at the Oct. 10, 2020 governorship election,” he said.

The governor said the time had come to continue infrastructure development in the three senatorial districts.

Akeredolu called on Jegede to “work hand in glove” with him to continue the development of the state.

Also, Boroffice, in a statement by his Media Aide, Mr Kayode Fakuyi,  said the judgment was consistent with the wishes of the good people of the state.

He, therefore, extended warm felicitation to the governor and all members of APC in the state.

BUHARI

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on his victory at the Supreme Court judgment.

The president, in a congratulatory message released by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina on Wednesday in Abuja, urged the governor, and all elected leaders of the governing party, to always place the people first in their consideration of development programmes and projects.

President Buhari affirmed that the popularity of the All Progressives Congress (APC) would continue to depend on performance and acceptance by the electorate.

He commended Akeredolu for assiduously working for the development of the state, “with reforms that continue to attract the goodwill of investors, and insistence that education, health and security take priority.’’

The president noted that “the Supreme Court Judgment preceded by that of the Court of Appeal, further bolsters the strength and reach of the APC, and its bright chances of consolidation in coming elections.’’

He, however, called on the opposition to sheathe the sword, work for the development of Ondo State, and wished the government and people a prosperous future.

OYETOLA

Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun has congratulated his Ondo State counterpart, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) over his victory at the Supreme Court.

Oyetola in a message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Wednesday in Osogbo, described Akeredolu’s victory as “sound and well deserved.”

The member of the National Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, leaders, members and supporters of the party on the victory.

He said the supreme court judgement had finally settled the legal battle over the 2020 Ondo Governorship election.

The governor said that lovers of democracy must commend the resilience of the judiciary in deepening the country’s democracy through its sound judgments.

 “On behalf of the people and Government of Osun, I congratulate my brother, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, on his victory at the Supreme Court.

“Today’s judgement has put to an end the needless bickering and distractions that greeted the election.

“It is my hope that the opposition will team up with my brother to move Ondo state forward in the overall interest of the state,” Oyetola said.

ONDO LAWMAKERS

Members of the Ondo State House of Assembly have congratulated Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on his governorship tribunal victory at the Supreme Court in Abuja.

This is contained in a press statement signed in Akure by the spokesman of the assembly,  Olugbenga Omole, after the court ruling on Wednesday.

The Speaker of the House, Baamide Oleyelogun, who spoke on behalf of the lawmakers described the verdict as a landmark in the dispensation of justice in Nigeria and noted that it was another victory for democracy.

He called on Mr Eyitayo Jegede of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  to join hands with Akeredolu towards enhancing the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people of the state.

“Having gone through the lengthy judicial process, we thank God that the entire process was in favour of our action Governor.

“Now that ruling has been given in favour of Mr Governor, he can now focus on his development agenda for the people of Ondo State, as a major distraction has been removed and come to an end,” he said.

The speaker, however, urged the governor to extend the olive branch to the opposition and again expressed the readiness of the assembly to work with him.

 SANWO-OLU

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says the Supreme Court’s verdict on his Ondo State counterpart, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu’s victory is a validation of  people’s mandate.

Sanwo-Olu, in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, congratulated Akeredolu on the verdict of his victory.

He said that the election results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission were evident that Akeredolu was validly elected by Ondo people.

Sanwo-Olu, who was the Chairman of the APC Committee on the Ondo State Gubernatorial election, also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on the victory.

The governor congratulated the APC national leadership as well as members of the party in Ondo and across the country on the victory.

”As democrats, we must submit ourselves to the tenets of democracy, which include post-election litigation.

”Today’s judgment has put paid to all insinuations and doubts about the resounding victory of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

”I, therefore, call on all lovers of democracy, especially the people of Ondo State to come together for a continuation of good governance and the developmental process of Ondo, started by Governor Akeredolu from his first term of office.

”On behalf of the people and government of Lagos State, I congratulate my brother, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, on his victory at the Supreme Court,” Sanwo-Olu said.

APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC), has congratulated Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, over his Supreme Court election victory, saying it is well deserved.

Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, National Secretary, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC)said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Akpanudoedehe said with the court upholding Akeredolu’s election, he would now focus on developing the state.

He rejoiced with the government and people of Ondo State over the court ruling which upheld the victory of Akeredolu in the last governorship election in the state.

The APC scribe said with the court ruling, Akeredolu’s administration was poised to redouble the tempo of quality service delivery and consolidate its giant strides.

This, he said, was especially in the critical areas of education, healthcare delivery, infrastructure development, security, youth empowerment and industrialisation.

Akpanudoedehe added that Akeredolu was truly passionate about development of his independent-minded, enlightened and progressive people and the state.

He said the governor had followed up his peoples oriented policies with several other developmental initiatives and had returned the state to its deserved status.

Akpanudoedehe said Akeredolu has also consolidated on the landmark and progressive legacies of late Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, the first civilian governor of the state.

JEGEDE

Mr Eyitayo Jegede, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the Oct. 10, 2020, governorship election in Ondo State, has congratulate Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu on his victory at the supreme court.

Jedege, in a statement he personally signed, which was made available to newsman in Akure on Wednesday, congratulated Akeredolu .

The PDP governorship candidate said “now that we have explored the grievance procedure permitted by the constitution and the law, it is time to give glory to God.

“We thank specially our legal team, under the leadership of Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, OON, SAN, FCIArb, for their commitment, industry and dedication to our cause. Over and above all, we thank them for their sacrifice.

“We are thankful to the people of Ondo State for their steadfastness. We were in this for service and for the collective interest of the majority of our people.

“The outcome of today’s judgement should not deter the good and well-meaning individuals from aspiring for leadership in our state and in our country. For all our people who have stood strong, we salute you.

“We thank the national and state leadership, and the generality of the members of PDP for providing us with great support. For our governors who provided the required leadership and kept faith with our aspiration, history will judge you right.

“With this outcome, our respect and reverence for the judiciary and our justices of the Supreme Court has not diminished.

“I congratulate His Excellency, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN,” Eyitayo said.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo State Chapter, has also accepted the verdict of the Supreme Court, being the Apex Court in the land.

Kennedy Peretei, State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, in a separate press statement he issued on behalf of the party after the ruling on Wednesday, said he, like the party, was surprised that the verdict did not favour Eyitayo Jegede.

He, however, said that the party had accepted the judgment in good faith.

“Our party wishes to encourage all our supporters to remain steadfast and be consoled that we fought a good fight, from the beginning to the end.

“The Supreme Court is the ‘guardian angel’ of our constitution and democracy to ensure that nobody tramples upon it without consequence.

“To this end, the judgement will also go into history as one of the major tests of our democracy which ought to be guided by the rule of law. “As much as we are not discouraged by this verdict, we shall continue to pursue that which will make life more easy for the people of Ondo State” Peretei said.

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