Court Nullifies Election of Senate Spokesman

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Adedayo Adeyeye
By John Shiklam in Kaduna and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna on Wednesday nullified the election of Senator Dayo Adeyeye, the spokesman of the Senate.

Delivering judgment in the appeal by Adeyeye following the nullification of his election at the election petition tribunal, Justice Uzor Anyanwu
upheld the judgment of the tribunal which declared Abiodun Olujimi, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winner of the Ekiti South Senatorial election which held on February 23, 2019.
The court therefore ordered the  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Olujimi as the duly elected candidate for the the election.
INEC had declared Adeyeye, who contested for the election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the election.
Olujimi had challenged the declaration of Adeyeye as the winner of the election at the  tribunal, seeking a declaration that she had the highest number of votes and should be declared winner.
She urged the tribunal to nullify Adeyeye’s victory, claiming irregularities in the electoral process.
The tribunal subsequently nullified the elections in some polling units and declared Olujimi winner.
Adeyeye however, appealed the tribunal’s judgment at the appellate court.
Meanwhile, there was wild jubilation among the members of the PDP in Ekiti State on Wednesday following the Appeal Court judgment, which upheld Olujimi’s victory.
The victory dance was visible in Omuo Ekiti, Olujimi’s hometown  and headquarters of Ekiti East Local Government, where the party members had trooped out to the streets to praise the judiciary for its steadfastness.
The Appeal Court sitting in Ado Ekiti had to relocate to Kaduna to deliver the judgment and affirmed the September 9 tribunal judgment of Justice Danladi Adeck, which nullified Adeyeye’s victory.
However, the PDP said the judgment of both the lower tribunal and the Appeal Court did not come as a surprise because the result declared by INEC did not reflect the true vote cast in the first instance.
In a statement by the PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr Jackson Adebayo, the party berated INEC for colluding with the APC to steal the mandate which was given to Olujimi and PDP at the poll without minding the democratic consequences on the nation.
“We congratulate all members of our party in the state and particularly congratulate Senator Biodun Olujimi for her courage to fight the battle to a victorious logical conclusion .
“We want to assure all our members that with the victory of Senator Olujimi there is a great future for the party, what we just need is to walk in unison towards subsequent elections in the state,” Adebayo said.
However, the APC rejected the Court of Appeal judgment, which sacked the spokesman of the Senate, adding that it did not reflect the wishes of people of Ekiti South Senatorial district.
“The judgment delivered earlier today can best be described as a travesty of justice and robbing Peter to pay Paul,” APC said.
APC, in a statement issued by its Director of Media and Publicity, Sam Oluwalana, noted that the short period spent by Adeyeye at the red chamber was indelible and remarkable for the people of Ekiti South and the state in general.
Oluwalana, who doubles as the SSA (Media) Party Matters to the state governor, stated that the Prince of Ise Ekiti exhibited exemplary traits while in the upper chambers.
“We commend Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who was highly-reverred by his colleagues in the Upper Chambers, for the exemplary leadership which he exhibited within the short period he spent in the Senate. We area proud of his achievements during the period, as he was able to manage information outflow, without any scandal in the House,” Oluwalana said.
He however appealed to the people to go about their normal businesses rather than taking the laws into their hands over the judgment.
The APC scribe also counselled the people not to be discouraged by the court judgment, saying that they should continue to support the APC in the state in its quest to turn around the mismanaged economy of the state by the past regime.
“We advise our supporters in the state not to be swayed by the judgment, but to rather remain steadfast with the state government in its quest to make things better for the people of the state,” he said.