The Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal has nullified the election of the senate spokesman, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye and declared Mrs. Biodun Olujimi of the Peoples Democratic Party winner of the Ekiti South in the senatorial election held on February 23.
It would be recalled that the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State had voided Adeleye’s election and declared Olujimi as the winner
Olujimi had approached the tribunal, craving that she should be declared winner.
She prayed the tribunal to annul votes in areas that were found to have been marked with irregularities like over voting, multiple thump printing, ballot snatching, ballot stuffing and improper ballot counting should be cancelled to know the winner of the poll.
But the respondent countered the submission, saying what the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did was right and constitutional, by declaring the candidate of the APC the winner.
Delivering the judgement, the three -man tribunal, led by Justice D.D. Adeck nullified the elections in some polling units to declare Olujimi the winner of the polls.
The tribunal said Olujimi polled a total of 54,894 to emerge victorious over Adeyeye who polled 52,243.
“We hereby declare the petitioner the winner and she is hereby returned elected.
“We hereby direct the INEC to withdraw the certificate of return from the respondent and issue same to the petitioner,” he said.
Dissatisfied with the tribunal judgment, both Adeyeye and the APC filed a petition at the court of appeal asking it to set aside the ruling of the lower court.
However, while delivering a unanimous judgement today in Kaduna State, Justice Uzor Anyanwu upheld the judgment of the tribunal and ordered INEC to issue fresh certificate of return to Olujimi.
Reacting to today’s verdict, the PDP in the state berated INEC for allegedly colluding with the APC to steal the mandate which was given to Olujimi and PDP at the poll without minding the democratic consequences on the nation.
“We congratulate all members of our party in the state and particularly congratulate Senator Biodun Olujimi for her courage to fight the battle to a victorious logical conclusion.
“We want to assure all our members that with the victory of Senator Olujimi there is a great future for the party, what we just need is to walk in unison towards subsequent elections in the state,” said the party’s spokesman, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, the party
Meanwhile, the APC has rejected the Court of Appeal judgment, which sacked the spokesman of the Senate, adding that it did not reflect the wishes of people of Ekiti South Senatorial district.
“The judgment delivered earlier today can best be described as a travesty of justice and robbing Peter to pay Paul,” APC said.
However, the APC in a statement issued by its director of media and publicity, Mr. Sam Oluwalana, described as “indelible” and “remarkable” the short period spent by Adeyeye in the senate.
Oluwalana added that the former senator exhibited exemplary traits while in the upper chambers.
“We commend Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who was highly-revered by his colleagues in the Upper Chambers, for the exemplary leadership which he exhibited within the short period he spent in the Senate.
We are proud of his achievements during the period, as he was able to manage information outflow, without any scandal in the House,” Oluwalana said.
He however appealed to the people to go about their normal businesses rather than taking the laws into their hands over the judgment.
Besides, he counselled the people not to be discouraged by the court judgment, saying they should continue to support the APC in the state in its quest to turn around the mismanaged economy of the state by the past regime.
“We advise our supporters in the state not to be swayed by the judgment, but to rather remain steadfast with the state government in its quest to make things better for the people of the state,” he added.