The immediate past attorney-general and commissioner for justice of Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, has been declared the winner of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship primary election in the state.
Jegede emerged the winner of the party’s primary by polling 760 votes to defeat the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP in the 2012 governorship election, Hon. Saka Lawal.
Announcing the results of the primaries at the International Cultural and Event Centre (The Dome), Akure, on Monday, chairman of the PDP Primary Election Committee for Ondo State and the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, said Eyitayo won the party’s primary election by polling a total of 760 votes to defeat his main opponent Saka Lawal, who polled a total of 22 votes to take the second place.
The primary election, which started with the accreditation of voters, took off at exactly 8:00am and was duly monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and it attracted local and international observers, the press, security apparatuses in the State.
The voting commenced after all the delegates, who conducted themselves in an orderly manner, had been accredited, collation and the counting of votes followed immediately.
Saka, who addressed the delegates before the commencement of the voting, said he has taken a strong decision to remain in the mainstream of the party, he assured that all leaders and members who have left party for the opposition parties will return, adding that he will build on existing legacies of Governor Olusegun Mimiko if he is given the opportunity to fly the flag of PDP.
He stressed that he will remain committed to the progress of the party saying the party will emerge in the forthcoming governorship poll in the state “I want to assure you that Saka Lawal will not leave PDP.” He said.
Also speaking, Eyitayo Jegede promised he will focus on the economy if he emerges the party’s flagbearer as that is the only way out of the non-payment of workers’ salaries.
While announcing the results, Dickson, said that 713 delegates were accredited for the primaries from a total delegates’ list of 840, adding that there were no invalid votes. He commended the aspirants, delegates and other members of the party for their commitment to the unity of the party.
According to the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon Banji Okunomo, the accredited delegates include 3 Ad-hoc delegates per ward elected on the 18th of August in the 203 wards of the State in addition to the delegates that are “automatic” by virtue of the positions they occupy presently or in the past in compliance with the provisions of the PDP Constitution.
Jegede, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was born to the family of late Chief Johnson Bosede Jegede, the Odopetu of Isinkan, Akure, and Mrs Caroline Oluwatola Jegede (nee Asokeji) from Ipele town, in Owo Local Government Area.
He qualified as a lawyer in 1984 after the one year mandatory programme at the Nigeria Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The one year mandatory National Service saw him posted to the then Gongola State where he eventually started his law practice. He was a counsel with the law firm of Murtala Aminu & Co., Yola for 12 years and practised extensively in the northern part of Nigeria where he built an enviable legal practice with special interest in litigation, Commercial and Corporate law. In 1996, he established the Law firm Tayo Jegede & Co. with offices in Yola and Abuja.
He was appointed a Notary Public by the Chief Justice of Nigeria in 1992 and was elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on 16th December, 2008.
In 2009, Mr Eyitayo was appointed the attorney general and commissioner for justice under the administration of the present governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko where he served in the two terms of Governor Mimiko until July 22, 2016 when he resigned his appointment in order to pursue his governorship ambition.
Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), who is a member of the Council of Legal Education in Nigeria, served twice as the Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association in Yola before coming to Akure to serve and a member of the 5-man implementation Committee that was saddled with the responsibility of establishing the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Adamawa State.
He has represented the state as a member of the Volleyball team at the intermediate level during the various National Sports Festivals at Kaduna in 1977, Ibadan in 1979 where he won laurels for the State.
In his acceptance speech, Eyitayo commended the national leadership of the party and the electoral committee for transparency and fairness in the process.