The PDP Ondo State candidacy suit before the Court of Appeal was finally heard yesterday in Abuja. And it seemes Eyitayo Jegede is the new candidate.
After the final arguments by counsel in the case, the Court of Appeal delivered its ruling, setting aside the judgement of the Federal High Court which had earlier declared Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP governorship candidate for the Ondo State elections, and ruled further that Mr. Ibrahim be replaced by Eyitayo Jegede of the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party.
All the objections filed by Mr. Ibrahim at the Appeal Court were also dismissed. There was great celebration by the people of Ondo State as regards the court of appeal victory of Mr. Jegede.
However, Mr Ibrahim, who is of the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, has reacted to the ruling of the Appeal Court yesterday.
He did not concede defeat but said he was certain of getting justice at the Supreme Court. Mr. Ibrahim accused the incumbent governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, of paying for the judgment with the state treasury.
“I have read the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered today. We have nothing to lose as the Supreme Court sits on the same case tomorrow. We shall get justice at the Supreme Court and if PDP wins Saturday election we shall have our four years mandate to rule Ondo State,” Mr. Ibrahim said.
Meanwhile, Dayo Adeyeye, the National Publicity Secretary of the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction, commended the Court of Appeal for its judgment and said in a statement that, the judgment was proof that what transpired at the lower court was miscarriage of justice.
Mr. Adeyeye said the party appreciated the Nigerian judiciary for “standing behind truth as it affects the attempt by enemies within working in consonance with some jittery and desperate opposition members.’’
He said the aim of the enemies of the party was to thwart PDP’s participation in the Ondo State governorship election.
He said: “This shows that justice might be delayed, but will surely come provided the oppressed refuse to give up on his rights.
“The judgment delivered by the Justice Salauwa-led Appeal Court Panel which returned the validly elected candidate of our party, to his rightful place was expected.
“It was expected because we were sure that the travesty of justice carried out at the lower court will in any sane society, not stand the test of time.’’
Mr. Adeyeye expressed hope that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would toe the line of the Court of Appeal by postponing the Saturday election by a minimum of two weeks.
He said the postponement would allow the faction’s candidate to inform the people of the state his programmes for them through campaigns.
Written by Okolo Ezinne