Fayose Defeats Fayemi Again At Court Of Appeal

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, on Monday, dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State and upheld the victory of Governor Ayo Fayose at the June 21, 2014 governorship election in the state.
Fayose, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, emerged winner, having defeated Dr Kayode Fayemi of the APC in all the 16 local councils of the state.
Not satisfied with the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Fayemi approached the tribunal, praying that Fayose was not qualified to contest the election, having been impeached as the governor of the state in 2006, among others
But the election petitions tribunal, on December 19, 2014, dismissed the petition and upheld Fayose’s election.
Not satisfied, APC approached the appellate court to challenge the decision of the tribunal.
In its appeal, APC submitted that the tribunal erred when it dismissed the ground challenging the forgery of certificate by Fayose.
The appellants also challenged the decision of the tribunal which struck out Chief of Army Staff and Nigerian Army as parties in the petition.
They also challenged the tribunal’s decision which denied jurisdiction to pronounce whether or not the army had a role to play in an election.
In a two-hour judgment delivered by a full panel of the Court of Appeal, headed by Justice Abdul Aboki, the court held that the appellants did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the certificate of the respondent issued by The Polytechnic, Ibadan, was forged.
The court noted that the issuing institution, which was The Polytechnic, Ibadan, had forwaded a letter stating that the certificate in contention was issued by it.
On the  issue of striking out of names of Chief of Army Staff and Nigerian Army from the petition, the court held that the tribunal was right, as such offices and establishments were not recognised under law to be involved in electoral process.
The court noted that the parties were not necessaryand, as such, their non joinder in the tribunal would not in any way bring about an adverse effect on the appellant.
It also held that the military, as far as the election was concerned, could be categorised as agents of INEC.
The court also upheld the decision of the tribunal which refused jurisdiction to determine whether the military had a role to play in an electoral process, stating that by the provisions of the law, the military has no role to play in electoral process adding that whoever had deployed the military to Ekiti for the elections had breached the law.
“We have looked carefully into this appeal, no merit in the appeal and it is hereby dismissed. The judgment of the tribunal delivered on December 19, 2014 succeeds,” the court held.
In the cross appeal, brought by PDP and Fayose on whether APC could file a petition before the tribunal without its governorship candidate, the court held in the affirmative.
Justice Aboki held that the candidate was not a necessary party in the petition on the ground that it was the party that sponsored the candidate.
Reacting to the victory, Fayose described the decision of the Court of Appeal as “a triumph of the will of the people over political bitterness aided by selfish interests.”
Reacting to the unanimous judgment of the appellate court, which affirmed that he was duly elected as the governor of the state on June 21, Fayose, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, in Ado-Ekiti, on Monday, urged the APC and its candidate, Dr Fayemi, to face the reality of their electoral loss.
“What the Court of Appeal in Abuja did further attested to the fact that the will of the people, clearly expressed, cannot be thwarted by a clique being propelled by political bitterness and selfish interests they want to promote,” he said.
“In the history of elections in Nigeria, I stand to be corrected, the election that brought me to office ranked alongside the June 12, 1993 presidential poll in terms of fairness, credibility and so on,” he added.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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