Law News
Governor-elect heads for Appeal Court
Ayodele Fayose

Ayodele Fayose

The Ekiti State Governor-elect, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has approached the Court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti, to challenge the powers of the Ekiti State High Court to hear a case challenging his eligibility to contest the June 21 governorship election.

Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi, had on Monday assumed jurisdiction and refused an application to set aside an order abridging the time for Fayose to file his defence in the case filed by members of Ekiti-11, Mr. Adeniyi Ajakaiye and Olufemi Ajayi.

In the Notice of Appeal filed on Tuesday at the High Court of Justice, Ado-Ekiti, Fayose through his team of lawyers led by Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), accused the trial judge of denying him fair hearing.

The respondents are, Ajakaiye, Ajayi, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Fayose also asked the judge to stay further proceedings in the suit pending the determination of the interlocutory appeal.

The motion on notice was brought pursuant to Order 39 Rules 1, Order 54 Rule 1 of Ekiti State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2011 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

Meanwhile, a coalition of Ekiti Youth, okada riders and women groups on Wednesday stormed the court to protest against the ongoing case.

Their spokesperson, Mr. Joel Ogunmodede, said the case filed by members of the Ekiti-11 was a subtle attempt to scuttle the mandate of the Ekiti people given to Fayose and plunge the state into crisis for possible declaration of a state of emergency .

Ogunmodede said, “This protest is going to be a continuous one. We are not going to rest until we see that justice is done in this case. There was an election and Fayose won in all the 16 local government areas. So, what we are expecting now is Fayose’s being sworn in as the governor of Ekiti State.”

Fayose stated that the judge erred in law to have assumed that he had become “functus officio” and thus could not set aside a ruling granted ex-parte.

He argued that he had 14 days within which to file and serve a counter-affidavit to the originating summons instead of the three days granted by the lower court against him.

He, therefore, asked the appellate court to set aside the order of the lower court delivered on the June 6, abridging the time within which he was to file and serve a counter-affidavit to the originating summons.

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