The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, has dismissed an appeal instituted by former governor of the state, Rashidi Ladoja, challenging the election of Governor Abiola Ajimobi in the last governorship election.
While giving its ruling, the five man panel, which was made up of the chairman, Justice Ogunjimiju, Haruna Tsammani, Uchechukwu Oyemenam, Olubunmi Oyewole and M.C. Shuaibu, upheld the earlier ruling of the Election Petition Tribunal, which was delivered by its chairman, Justice Aliu Mayaki on October 27.
‘A Biased Player’
The Tribunal had earlier thrown out Ladoja’s petition on the ground that principal witness, Bimbo Adepeju, who inspected election materials, was not qualified to do so and held that his evidence was not reliable.
The Chairman of the Appeal Court Panel, Justice Ogunjimiju, said the Tribunal was right in its submission, reaffirming that Adepoju was indeed not qualified to play the role that was assigned to him.
The Court said “apart from the earlier stated factors, Mr Adepoju was also ‘a biased player’, being a member of Accord Party which had Ladoja as its candidate in the election.
Reacting to the ruling Governor Ajimobi expressed gratitude to the people of the state and extended an Olive branch to his opponent to join him in developing the state instead of wasting time and resources at the courts.
A former Governor, Adebayo Alao Akala, also joined Governor Ajimobi publicly for the first time before journalists, congratulating him over his victory at the courts.
The duo, who had been at opposing camps till lately, had been making moves for reconciliation which has now been proven beyond doubts.
Both Governor Ajimobi and former Governor Alao-Akala disclosed their readiness to work together as one in the interest of the state.
At the Oluyole residence of the Oyo State Governor, members of the All Progressives Congress [his party] visited the Governor to congratulate him on the victory at the Appeal Court.
Meanwhile, the Accord Party lead counsel, Aderemi Olatubora, hinted of another fight at the Supreme Court, saying there were similarities in the case with that of Rivers State.
No official statement has been released by Senator Ladoja or the Accord Party regarding the judgment.