A Federal High Court, sitting in Ado-Ekiti, has dismissed the eligibility case instituted by former Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni, challenging Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on his eligibility to contest the July 14 governorship election.
Oni, an All Progressives Congress, APC, aspirant in the Ekiti APC primary election, who came second in the said primary, is challenging Fayemi’s eligibility on the grounds that the governor did not resign his appointment as a Minister before the primary.
Segun Oni noted that Fayemi did not resign his office 30 days before the primaries and that he was indicted by the Justice Silas Oyewole-led commission of inquiry instituted by former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.
Oni, represented in court by his counsel, Chief Anthony Adeniyi, urged the court to void the votes for Fayemi for refusing to resign his ministerial position and the indictment by the commission of inquiry.
He also urged the court to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Fayemi, and declare him, Oni, as the duly nominated APC candidate for the July 14 election.
Fayemi’s lawyer, Chief Rafiu Balogun, urged the court to strike out Oni’s suit for lack of merit, said he was not a civil servant nor an official of APC hence the resignation clause was not binding just as he said an Abuja court had quashed the decision of the commission of inquiry.
The case was early instituted at an Abuja Division of Federal High Court but later transferred to Ado Ekiti last month for continuation.
Justice Uche Agomoh, while delivering his ruling on the suit yesterday , dismissed the suit for lacking in merit, saying: “I am of the firm view that the originating summons is hereby dismissed”
Agomoh, who resolved the issues for determination in favour of Governor Fayemi, said the governor could not be disqualified on the basis of the report of the Commission of Inquiry whereby an Abuja court had quashed the indictment.
The judge said: “Indictment does not satisfy the definition of conviction. He cannot be disqualified”.
Agomoh also said: “The issue of 30 days resignation before election does not apply in this case,” saying the applicant’s claim that Fayemi was an official of APC and a public servant could not be proved.
The judge further said: Fayemi, as a Minister of the federation was not a public servant but a political office holder and appointee of the President, hence the 30 days resignation stipulation did not apply.
Counsel to Oni in his response, said; “We are going to study this judgment to determine the next cause of action”.
In his response, lawyer to Fayemi described the judgment as wonderful, saying “the court agreed with the positions of the law in arriving at the verdict”.