Appeal Court Revalidates Akinlaja's Electoral Victory
The Appeal Court sitting in Akure, Ondo State capital has dismissed the appeal challenging the victory of Hon. Joseph Iranola Akinlaja representing Ondo East/West Federal Constituency.
Akinlaja was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in the March 28, 2015 election. The court, on Wednesday (Oct. 28, 2015), rejected an appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress candidate, Mr. Olabamidele Olanubi, for lacking evidential value and merit.
Olanubi had approached the appellate court to challenge the verdict of the election petitions tribunal. The court, which was presided over by Justice Mohammed A. Danjuma, held that Olanubi’s appeal was a waste of resources and time. Justice Danjuma said Olanubi’s appeal was lacking in merit which was why the lower Tribunal earlier struck it out. The appellate court also stated that the APC candidate submitted unreliable documents on the court and subsequently presented unreliable evidences in his appeal.
Hon. Akinlaja while reacting to his victory at the Appellate Court said the judgment was good for the Nigeria’s democracy, expressing gratitude to God for making the case to go in his favour whilst pouring encomium on Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, and his constituents in Ondo East and West Local Governments, for standing by him all through the litigation periods.
Asked on his advice to the petitioner, Akinlaja stated that Olanubi in the interest of democracy should join hands with him in moving the state and constituency forward, and should also eschew further frivolities which had previously caused both the litigants and respondents waste of precious time and resources.
Lead counsel to Akinlaja, Mr. Remi Olatubora, on his part commended the decision of the Court of Appeal saying it won’t be out of order if Honourable Justice M. A Danjuma after retirement picks a job as a University lecturer, judging from his erudite delivery of the judgment.
However, since the inauguration of the 8thAssembly, Hon Akinlaja has made some significant impacts at the hallowed chamber, of note was the sponsorship of a motion on matters of urgent public importance on the need to resolve the trade dispute in the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, wherein he urged the House to take urgent steps so as to avert a looming strike arising from the disagreement. Akinlaja has also been appointed as Chairman House Committee on Petroleum Downstream.
In retrospect, Akinlaja was a former Assistant General Secretary NUPENG between 1981 – 1999, General Secretary 2001 – 2004 and Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress between 2003 – 2006. He is currently the Grand Patron and Technical Consultant to Petroleum Tankers Drivers Association of Nigeria.