Hours after the Supreme Court ruled on the October 10, 2020 governorship election in Ondo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has admitted that anxiety filled his camp in the build-up of the apex court judgment.
The governor, who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, said when he got wind of information that the legal battle may not go in his favour, he resorted to prayers.
Following Akeredolu’s emergence as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had asked the Court of Appeal in Akure to sack Akeredolu, saying his nomination form was signed by a sitting governor, Mai Mala Buni (of Yobe State), who doubled as the Acting National Chairman of the APC.
The appeal was filed in line with the constitutional provision that forbade a sitting governor from holding executive positions outside their statutory position as governors.
But the appellate court struck out the appeal for lack of merit – a decision which made the appellants seek redress in at the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, a seven-man panel of justices of the Supreme Court had upheld the re-election of Governor Akeredolu in a majority judgement of four against three.
READ ALSO: Supreme Court Upholds Akeredolu’s Election
But Akeredolu reacted to the Supreme Court verdict, said he never envisaged a problem could arise that might make him forfeit his position as governor.
“The news we had later, few days to this judgement gave us a lot of anxiety. Is it possible for anyone to think otherwise, that the judgment of the Court of Appeal – five of them finding in our favour – can anybody think he would turn it?” he said.
“When it came out that there was some problem that could happen, there was apprehension and I am not going to deny that fact. We were worried but trusted in the God we believed in.
“Some of us are strong believers; I am a man of faith. And because of that my belief, I trusted in my God. I resumed prayers and knew that God had heard those prayers.”
The governor later added that if the case did not turn out in his favour, he would have packed out of the Ondo State Government House, Akure.
Meanwhile, Jegede has congratulated Akeredolu following the judgement of the Supreme Court on the Ondo State governorship election.
Jegede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and PDP’s candidate in the election, made the gesture on Wednesday despite his loss to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate at the apex court.
“Now that we have explored the grievance procedure permitted by the constitution and the law, it is time to give glory to God,” he said in a statement personally signed by him.
The senior advocate added, “With this outcome, our respect and reverence for the judiciary and our justices of the supreme court has not diminished.”
He also thanked the legal team, led by Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), for their commitment, industry, and dedication to the cause, as well as for their sacrifice.
Jegede commended the people of Ondo for their steadfastness, saying the decision to approach the apex court was for service and the collective interest of the majority of the people.