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The Judgment Cannot Stand – Ekiti Govt

By Lere Olayinka

Chief Press Secretary to Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre has said the Federal High Court, Jos judgment that Governor Segun Oni's tenure will end in 2011 cannot stand the test of judicial precedence, saying; “Section 180 (subsection 2a) of the 1999 Constitution is clear on when the tenure of office of governors and presidents ends and this has been settled by the Supreme Court.”

The case was filed by the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) in Ekiti State.

Ojo-Lanre, who described the judgment as curious, strange and a pyrrhic victory for those who are desirous of getting power through the backdoor, noted that Constitutional matters like the one on tenure of elected public officers can only be settled by the Supreme Court.

“Even as we are not afraid of standing for elections anytime provided the Constitution is followed, we wish to state that this judgment cannot withstand test of judicial precedence and will definitely fall flat like a house of cards at the appellate court.

“We are definitely going to appeal the judgment immediately because we know that it is a known fact that in the legal circuit, the judgment of a lower court cannot supersede that of the Supreme Court and in this case, there is a subsisting judgment of the Apex Court.

“Most importantly, it is provided in Section 180 (subsection 2a) of the 1999 Constitution that the governor shall vacate office at the expiration of a period of four years commencing from the date when he took the Oath of Allegiance and oath of office,” the governor's spokesperson said.

While reiterating the readiness of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for elections at whatever level, Ojo-Lanre said; “We are not afraid of standing for elections at any level, even at the shortest notice because PDP is the party to beat in Ekiti.

“Those running from one court to the other know that are doing so because they cannot win election through the ballot box. They know that even if election is held tomorrow, PDP has the capacity and capability to be victorious.

“Therefore, we in the PDP are not bothered by the court judgment because whether the governorship election is held next year, 2013 or even next week, we are sure of winning resoundingly.”