Following the ruling of the Court of Appeal in Ibadan, yesterday, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has declared that the mandate given to him through the March 9 governorship election remains intact.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Taiwo Adisa, the governor declared the mandate given to him by the people of Oyo State cannot be taken through the backdoor.
“There is no ambiguity as to the state of things in our Pacesetter State as far as the March 9 election is concerned. Our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the election.
“The victory was reaffirmed by a ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Ibadan, the state capital.
“On Monday, the Court of Appeal, also sitting in Ibadan, delivered its judgment on the appeal by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adebayo Adelabu.
“In its ruling, the Appeal Court refused to grant any of the three key reliefs sought by the APC candidate.
“The court refused to nullify the election; it refused to order a fresh election and it also refused to order the retrial of the petition.
“With the above being the reality of the outcome of the Appeal Court’s ruling, the election of Makinde as the governor of Oyo State has just been reaffirmed.
“There is nothing in the Appeal Court’s ruling that affects the returns made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and there is nothing that tampers with the mandate freely given to Makinde by the people of Oyo State.
“Governor Makinde hereby urges the good people of Oyo State to remain calm and refuse to be provoked by agents of disruption who are seeking to upturn the truth, which remains constant against all odds.
“We also wish to enjoin the people of Oyo State to ignore the doctored reports in some media outlets, which are merely quoting the judgment of the Court of Appeal out of context,” the CPS said.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal, has allowed the appeal filed by Adebayo Adelabu against Makinde.
The court of appellate jurisdiction also set aside the judgment delivered by the election petition tribunal that upheld the election of Makinde as declared by INEC.
The Court of Appeal ordered that status quo before the tribunal’s judgment should remain, which is the return and declaration of Makinde as winner of the governorship poll.
The court held that if not for time, it would have ordered a re-trial at the tribunal, noting that unfortunately, the time limit of 180 days for tribunal had been exhausted.
The Court of Appeal found that the judgment of the lower tribunal that dismissed Adelabu’s petition against Makinde’s election as the governor was perverse and therefore set the judgement aside.
The court did not make any further order concerning the election of Makinde and did not make any order for re-hearing of the election petition, and that the status quo as the time of filing the petition by Adelabu should remains.
Leakblast.com reporters gathered that Electoral Acts only gives a grace of 180 days for the petition to be heard at the tribunal, which affirmed that the tribunal duly spent its time and so nothing could be done on its pronouncement as to the validity of the election.
Three of the four-person panel of the Court of Appeal resolved all issues in the favour of the appellants. But there was a dissenting judgment from a judge with a proviso that the panel could not nullify Makinde’s election.
The lead counsel to Makinde, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), told newsmen that the declaration of Makinde as governor has not been affected in any way.
“INEC’s declaration is sacrosanct and it remains until any other pronouncement from the court.
“We have not seen the details of the judgment. We were all in court and you (journalists) saw that the details were not read to us. As far as we are concerned, there is no cause for alarm,” he said.
The counsel to Adelabu and APC, Adeboye Shobanjo, also told journalists: “You listened to what my lord said about the evaluation of judgment of evidence that when there are evidence before the court, the evidence of all parties before the court should be evaluated.
“Judgment should not be based only on the evidence of a party in a case and if that was done during the trial, or during the judgment, that is contrary to the provision of the constitution on fair hearing.
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