Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on Friday’s declaration by the Court of Appeal that he (Fayemi) was the winner of the governorship re-run elections held in South West Ekiti State last year.
A two-paragraph press statement, signed by Mr. Ima Niboro, the Special assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said: ‘As Fayemi prepares to assume the Office of Governor of Ekiti State, President Jonathan assures him of the full support and cooperation of the Federal Government.’
PANA recalls that in a unanimous verdict, a five-member Court of Appeal panel sitting in Nigeria’s northern city of Ilorin Friday nullified the election of governor Segun Oni, who was elected on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The panel, led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, also ordered the ‘immediate’ swearing in of Dr Fayemi as the duly elected governor of the state.
According to the court, Fayemi won both the 14 April, 2007, governorship election and the re-run election 25 April, 2009, with the highest lawful votes cast at the polls.
The court arrived at the judgment after nullifying all the results of four wards in a part of the state, Ido-osi, which was in contention.
All the vote casts in the four wards were deducted form the final score of both candidates, thus leaving the ACN with 105,631 and PDP with 95,176.
With the result, the court set aside the majority decision of the lower tribunal and upheld the minority decision, which said Oni did not satisfy the provision of the Electoral Act of 2006.
It was the latest in a series of results of the 2007 general elections to have been overturned by the courts, and litigation from the widely-discredited elections continue over three years later.
Nigeria returns to the polls next year, amid wide expectations that the elections will be better than the last one, especially with the consistent pledge by President Goodluck Jonathan to break from the past and organise free, fair and credi b le polls in Africa’s most populous nation.