The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, upheld the victory of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in the October 10, 2020, governorship election in Ondo State.
Akeredolu’s victory was upheld in the majority judgement delivered by four of the seven-member panel.
They dismissed the appeal by Eyitayo Jegede and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the grounds that it was incompetent.
Three other justices disagreed with the majority judgement, insisting that Akeredolu’s candidacy in the election is a nullity.
In the majority judgement, the four judges dismissed the appeal for failure to join Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, as a party in the petition.
But the three justices, who delivered the minority judgement, led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, said that the appeal should be allowed.
Justices Odili, Ejembi Eko and Tijjani Abubakar, in their judgement, held that Buni, as an executive governor of a state, cannot act in the capacity of acting chairman of the All Progressives Congress.
They also held that the Yobe State Governor acted in violation of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Akeredolu the winner of the October 10, 2020 governorship election, having polled a total of 292,830 votes to defeat Jegede, who secured 195,791 votes.
Jegede had approached the tribunal to challenge Akeredolu’s reelection.
The PDP candidate told the tribunal that the election was marred by “irregularities, violence and intimidation of eligible voters.”
He also submitted that Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, were not duly nominated by their party — the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But in a judgment delivered on April 20, the tribunal dismissed Jegede’s petition.
Consequently, the former governorship candidate approached the court of appeal.
But the appeal court dismissed the suit for lacking merit.