Oni Files Appeal Against Removal From Office, Seeks Retrial Of Case

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com

ABUJA, March 14, (THEWILL) - The former Governor of Ekiti today filed an Appeal at the new Court of Appeal in Ado Ekiti seeking an order to set aside the judgement of the Isa Salami led Election Appeal Tribunal which installed the ACN Candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi as Governor.

The filing of the case by the former Governor was turned to a carnival-like procession as thousands of party supporters and loyalists of the former governor thronged the court premises in company of Chief Oni and party leaders.

The former Governor is asking the court to use its inherent powers to direct a fresh panel of the Court of Appeal to determine the appeal afresh (de novo) and that the Speaker of the Ekiti House should take over the governance of Ekiti State pending the hearing and determination of the Appeal.

The Appeal which was filed on his behalf by a team of lawyers led by constitutional lawyer Professor Ben Nwabueze, SAN, listed 7 grounds of Appeal which includes that the judgement of the Election Appeal was delivered without jurisdiction and in breach of right to fair hearing.

Other grounds were that the judgement was a nullity having been predetermined and

delivered through a panel which has close affinity with 1st and 2nd Respondents.

*That the judgement was compromised and vitiated by reason of the said affinity especially the President of the Court of Appeal Justice Isa Salami, who presided over the panel in particular.

*Senator Bola Tinubu, the alter ego and leader of ACN and that this affinity created bias in favour of Dr Kyode Fayemi and the ACN.

*That the justices of the panel were disqualified to sit on the panel, entertain and deliver the judgement by reason of the issues raised in a sworn affidavit of a distinguished Senator Umaru Dahiru regarding the relationship between Justice Salami who presided over the panel and Sen. Bola Tinubu.

*That the judgement is a nullity for the reasons stated in the grounds of Appeal.

The motion was supported by a 48-paragraph affidavit deposed to by the former governor, in support of the motion, which included claims that the ACN in their petition before the tribunal made contradictory positions claiming in one breath, that there was no election yet also affirming that the election was manipulated.

The Applicant claimed that Senator Bola Tinubu at a book launch in honour of Olubadan of Ibadan a week before the judgement informed the audience that he would be attending the swearing in of his Party candidate “as Governor of Ekiti in another one week.”

He claimed also that an Akure based radio station, Adaba Radio weeks before the judgement had been broadcasting messages by Fayemi that he would soon be sworn in as Governor of Ekiti State. He said that a day to the delivery of the judgment, the ACN made elaborate preparation including distribution of fabric with congratulatory messages.

Chief Segun Oni who attached copies of his petition to the NJC to the Affidavit and the Affidavit of Senator Umaru Dahiru and Mahmud Yahaya stated that it was uncontroverted that Justice Isa Salami had been a friend of ACN leader and that Tinubu ‘has unfettered access to influence the President of the Court of Appeal who presided over the Ekiti Tribunal” thus denying him of fair hearing.

He referred to the first judgement of the Court of Appeal which annulled his election and ordered a rerun on the basis that officials of INEC marked the voters register with shades of biro as against blue biro and that he found the judgement “very queer and bizarre having regard to the fact that I was aware at that time that in the appeal filed against the election of Governor Fashola of Lagos state by Jimi Agbaje, the Court of Appeal held the election manual which prescribe the use of blue biro was not obligatory but directory.”

No date has been fixed for hearing of the Appeal.