There was jubilation galore yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, as people took to the streets, rejoicing over the judgment the Supreme Court, which struck out the case brought before it by the former governor of Ekiti State, Engr. Segun Oni.
Oni had sought a review of the Court of Appeal ruling of October 15, 2010 on Ekiti State governorship election of 2007 and the re-run election of 2009.
With brooms in their hands, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members in Ekiti danced to their satisfaction, singing victory songs across the state capital, especially in Okeyinmi, Ijigbo and other areas of the city.
Governor Kayode Fayemi lauded the country’s judiciary, “for again demonstrating its resolve to always uphold the tenet of truth and justice, by dismissing the petition by ousted governor of Ekiti State.”
He also thanked all Ekiti people for their unflinching support for his administration and for believing in the sanctity of truth, saying the “victory has again confirmed that truth will always prevail no matter the situation and that Ekiti State will no longer be governed through fraudulent means.”
While the jubilation was going on in Ado-Ekiti, Oni, with some of his family members, a few of his church members and political associates, went to Methodist Church of Nigeria, Tabernacle of Praise, located in front of his house in Ifaki-Ekiti, where he gave thanks to God.
Oni said: “I give thanks to God because at times when God wants to favour you, He may not answer your prayer because of greater things He wants to do you that you don’t know.”
The clergy man, who preached at the service, Pastor Kehinde, said people like Oni are rare because he realised that in every disappointment, there is a blessing. And there is a need to give thanks to God in every situation.”
Former Senator Ayo Arise, said: “We are not happy with the judgment, but we abide by the judgment.”
He advised Justice Ayo Salami and other justices at the Court of Appeal, that once any of them has case involving their relations and associates, they should allow other justices to handle such cases.
Ekiti State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, said the party accepted the judgment in good faith, saying: “Who are we to reject the judgment of the Supreme Court? We are law-abiding citizens and party men. The judgment is in the interest of the nation.”
Fayemi, while speaking with journalists at the Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja shortly after the judgment of the Supreme Court, said there was no basis for the petition by Oni, adding that his claims were frivolous, baseless and a waste of time.
Fayemi said Oni had sought to use the frivolous case, which had spanned over two years, to distract him from actualising the developmental efforts going on in Ekiti State, and to give a false hope to his followers.
He, however, said that in spite of the long drawn legal battle, he had refused to be distracted, stressing that this is evident in the transformation going on in the state and the value that the administration has added to the lives of the average citizens.
Fayemi said it was high time electoral offenders were punished under the law to serve as a deterrent to others and to clean up the electoral process.
He said: “Oni and his jesters merely sought to use this case to distract us, but we refused to be distracted. We have remained focused all through concentrating on the development of the state and this is evident in the lives of the people.”
“I think we should also put in place laws that will punish electoral offenders. I believe if Oni had been punished for rigging the 2007 governorship election in Ekiti State, he would not have had the effrontery to approach the court again seeking a backdoor to the governorship seat.”
Source: The Sun