JUST IN: Federal High Court Delivers Judgment On The Immediate Disqualification Of Kayode Fayemi, As The Ekiti State Governor

By Post-Nigeria: December 10, 2018 21:27

JUST IN: Federal High Court Delivers Judgment On The Immediate Disqualification Of Kayode Fayemi, As The Ekiti State Governor

Justice Uche Agomoh of a Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Monday, dismissed the suit filed by a former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, challenging the eligibility of Governor Kayode Fayemi to contest the July 14 Governorship election in the State, for lack of merit.

Recall that Oni, an All Progressives Congress, APC, Aspirant in the election, had filed the suit to challenge Fayemi’s eligibility, on the grounds that the Governor did not resign his appointment as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 30 days before the party primaries, and that he was indicted by the Justice Silas Oyewole-led Commission of Inquiry.

The Judge said in her judgement that the case is “completely lacking in merit”.

The court held that Fayemi was validly nominated by the APC, and that he was not a public Officer envisaged by the Electoral Act, 1999 Constitution, and Party Guidelines, to resign before contesting.

Chief Anthony Adeniyi, the Counsel to Oni, prayed the court to void the votes cast for Fayemi, for refusing to resign, and the indictment, withdraw the certificate of return issued to Fayemi, declaring Oni as duly nominated APC Candidate, and as well duly elected Governor, in the July 14 election.

However, Fayemi, though his Lawyer, Chief Rafiu Balogun, urged the court to strike out Oni’s suit for lack of merit, saying that, he was not a civil servant, nor an official of the APC, hence the resignation clause was not binding, just as he said an Abuja court had quashed the decision of the Commission of Inquiry.

Justice Uche Agomoh, while ruling on the suit, dismissed the suit for lacking in merit, saying: “I am of the firm view that the originating summon is hereby dismissed.”

Justice Agomoh, who resolved the issues for determination in favour of Fayemi, said that the Governor could not be disqualified on the basis of the report of the Commission of Inquiry, whereby an Abuja court had quashed the indictment.

The judge said: “Indictment does not satisfy the definition of conviction. He cannot be disqualified. The issue of 30 days resignation before election does not apply in this case”, adding that, the applicant’s claim that Fayemi was an official of the APC and a public servant, could not be proved.

According to the Judge, Fayemi, as a Minister of the Federation, was not a public Servant, but a political office holder, and appointee of the President, hence the 30 days resignation stipulated did not apply.

Reacting however, Counsel to Oni in his response, said: “We are going to study this judgement to determine the next cause of action.”

In his response, Lawyer to Fayemi described the judgement as wonderful, saying: “The court agreed with the positions of the law in arriving at the verdict.”

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