The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
A five-man panel in an unanimous judgment said the appeal Mr. Segun Oni was statute barred having been caught up by Section 285 of the 1999 constitution which makes it mandatory that all pre-election cases must be filed within 14 days that the cause of action arose.
Justice Amiru Sanusi, in the lead judgment, held that the case, being a pre-election one, did not commence at the trial court within the required time as stipulated under the Fourth Alteration Act.
The court said records at the disposal of the court, show that the case of the appellant (Oni) was filed 42 days after the cause of action arose, thereby making the suit legally incompetent to be adjudicated upon.
Oni, who was a governorship aspirant in the last primary election conducted by the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the nomination of its standard-bearer, had dragged Fayemi to court praying for an order disqualifying him (Fayemi) from participating in the last governorship election in Ekiti State.
His grouse was that Fayemi did not resign as minister of solid minerals three months before the election as required by law.
Oni also cited the report of a Commission of Enquiry set up by the Ekiti State Government under former Governor Ayodele Fayose which indicted and prohibited him from holding public office for a period of 10 years.
However, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, presided over by Justice Oathman Musa, had in a judgment, quashed the report of the commission on the grounds that Fayemi was denied fair hearing during the proceeding.
But Justice Sanusi upheld the preliminary objection raised against Oni’s appeal that the suit has no life in it having been filed outside the 14 days required by law to be competent.Reacting to the judgment, Fayemi’s Counsel, Rafiu Balogun commended the Supreme Court for the ability to do justice to the issue within the time frame allowed by law.