Appeal Court knocks out Oni, upholds Fayemi’s victory in APC primary

February 13, 2019
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A Court of Appeal in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, has upheld the judgement of the Federal High Court which held that the candidate of the APC in the July 14th, 2018 governorship election, Kayode Fayemi, was eligible to have contested the party’s primary.

An aspirant, Segun Oni, a former Governor of Ekiti State, appealed the lower court’s verdict, insisting the candidate violated electoral and constitutional provisions by not resigning 30 days to the party primaries and for contesting the primary election despite being indicted by a judicial panel of inquiry.

Oni, who was second at the primary wanted the court to nullify Fayemi’s victory and nomination as the party’s candidate and declare him the validly elected candidate of the party for its primary and the governorship poll.

But the Appeal Court judges unanimously held that Fayemi, though a public servant, was not an employee of the public service and, thus, not under compulsion to resign his position as minister 30 days to the party primary.

The Court also aligned with the lower court that Fayemi’s indictment by a judicial panel of inquiry does not amount to conviction as only a conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction will be actionable in the case is determined.

The court, therefore, dismissed the appeal as lacking in merit and upheld the ruling of the lower court.

However, it will be recalled that the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), governorship aspirants who include Musiliu Obanikoro in Lagos State, Isiaku Darius in Taraba State, etc, resigned their ministerial appointments to contest the PDP primary election fo0r the tickets of their party in their respective starts.

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