Law News
Appeal Court reserves judgment on Ekiti gov poll
The Court of Appeal, Ado Ekiti, on Monday reserved judgment in the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress against the victory of Governor Ayodele Fayose, in the June 21, 2014 Ekiti governorship election.
The five-member panel chaired by Justice Abdu Aboki adjourned for judgment after all parties in the appeal adopted their briefs of argument.
The first to fifth Respondents are the Peoples Democratic Party, Fayose, Independent National Electoral Commission, Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police.
The Ekiti Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had on December 19, 2014 upheld Fayose’s victory and dismissed the APC petition.
The Appellant is challenging the victory of Fayose on the grounds that he was not qualified to stand election as a candidate because of his impeachment of October 16, 2006.
The APC also alleged that the Governor forged his academic certificates and violated the Code of Conduct Rules.
Adopting his brief of argument, the Counsel  to the petitioner, Hakeem Afolabi (SAN) urged the Court to allow the appeal and grant all the reliefs sought by the Appellants.
He drew the attention of the Court to paragraphs 110-120 and 125a of the petition struck out by the tribunal which bordered on the qualification of Fayose.
Afolabi argued that the reason given by the tribunal contravened Section 138 (a) of the Electoral Act, insisting that there was no time limit to raise an issue that borders on qualification of a candidate.
He contended that the decision of the tribunal was taken suo motu and that the right to fair hearing of the Appellant was breached.
“I urge your lordships to allow the appeal and grant the reliefs in our petition,” he submitted.
Opposing the submission, counsel to PDP, Robert Emukpoeruo, argued that the tribunal struck out the paragraphs in contention after considering the merit of the complaints of the appellants.
Fayose’s counsel, Yusuf Ali (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking merit.
Citing Nwakama v Abaribe 2010, All Federation Weekly Law Report pt 505 1767 at 1789-1790 para f-e, Ali argued that the panel that recommended Fayose’s impeachment violated the constitution because it was not set up by either a Chief Judge or an Acting Chief Judge.
Besides, he contended that the petitioner who lost in the 16 Local Government Areas called only 11 witnesses, six of which came from Ado- alone and did not call witnesses in other 10 LGAs.
Toeing the same lane, the INEC’s counsel, Wilcox Abereton;  counsel to the Chief of Army Staff, Abayomi Sadiku and counsel to Inspector General, Olusola Oke, in adopting their briefs of argument, all urged the court to dismiss the appeal.
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