Eligibility Suit: Oni’s Lawyer Raises Security Threat As Fayemi Defends Victory


Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Lawyer to former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, in the suit filed to challenge the state Governor, Kayode Fayemi’s eligibility to participate in the May 26 All Progressives Congress(APC) governorship primary in state, Chief

Tony Adeniyi, yesterday cried out that some people were allegedly threatening to prevent him from continuing with the case.

Oni’s counsel raised security concern as he alleged that “some party supporters attempted to stop him from accessing the court area but for the quick intervention of police officers who ferries him to the court premises.”

Oni polled a total of 481 votes to emerge the runner up in the primary that was won by Fayemi, who scored 940 votes in the tension-soaked primary.

But Fayemi’s lawyer, Rafiu Balogun, allayed his fears, assuring him that he would contact the defendant and applicant on security matter.

Balogun added that Fayemi and Oni are members of the same APC family and that the concern over security issue would be handled internally.

However, there was heavy security beef up around the Ado Ekiti division of the Federal High Court yesterday as the sitting commenced in the suit filed by Oni challenging the eligibility of Fayemi contesting in the primary as a sitting minister.

The suit was first filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, but was referred to Ekiti State division last week by the presiding judge in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Babatunde Quadri.

Shortly after the case was transferred to Ekiti State, a governorship aspirant in the primary, Ajayi Olowo, approached the court seeking to be joined in the suit as an interested party.

Olowo, also a lawyer, urged the court to join him with the defendant counsel, Rafiu Balogun, to hasten the works of the other counsel, saying the applicant, Oni, has no case and that his application should be dismissed.

Earlier, counsel to the applicant, Adeniyi, filed a motion to amend the applicant’s response to the preliminary objection of the defendant, Fayemi.

But at yesterday’s proceedings, Adeniyi also urged the court to give accelerated hearing and determination of the case, saying there was no time on the side of the court.

He said: “The expiration of the matter, according to law which stipulated 180 days to hear the matter, would expire on December 19.

Balogun, the lead counsel to the defendant, (Fayemi), asked the court to grant them the privilege of addressing the court orally since they had not filed their own written amendment to counter the written application of the plaintiff in order to save the time of the court.

In his ruling, Justice Uche Agomoh adjourned ruling on whether Olowo could join the other defendants till November 27.

Agomoh told the two parties to file and serve each other the written applications before noon today.