Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has congratulated Governor Rotimi Akeredolu following the judgment of the Supreme Court on the Ondo State governorship election.
Jegede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and PDP’s candidate in the election, made the gesture on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, despite his loss to the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate at the apex court.
“Now that we have explored the grievance procedure permitted by the constitution and the law, it is time to give glory to God,” he said in a statement personally signed by him.
The senior advocate added, “With this outcome, our respect and reverence for the judiciary and our justices of the supreme court has not diminished.”
He also thanked the legal team, led by Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), for their commitment, industry, and dedication to the cause, as well as for their sacrifice.
Jegede commended the people of Ondo for their steadfastness, saying the decision to approach the apex court was for service and the collective interest of the majority of the people.
“The outcome of today’s judgement should not deter 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, gratitude, history will judge you right,” said the PDP candidate.
Jegede and his party had asked the Court of Appeal in Akure, Ondo State capital to sack Akeredolu, saying his nomination form was signed by a sitting governor, Mai Mala Buni (of Yobe State), who doubled as the Acting National Chairman of the APC.
The appeal was filed in line with the constitutional provision that forbade a sitting governor from holding executive positions outside their statutory position as governors.
But the appellate court struck out the appeal for lack of merit – a decision which made the appellants seek redress in at the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, a seven-man panel of justices of the Supreme Court had upheld the re-election of Governor Akeredolu in a majority judgement of four against three.
The three justices disagreed with the majority judgement, stressing that Akeredolu’s candidacy in the October 10, 2020 poll was a nullity.
They held that the appeal filed by the appellants had merit and ought not to be struck out by the appellate court.
Governor Akeredolu polled 292,830 votes to defeat Jegede who scored 195,791 votes, and Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, who came third in the election with 69,127 votes.
It was the second time the governor would defeat his PDP rival candidate.