Appeal Court upturns tribunal’s verdict, upholds lawmaker’s election
The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure on Tuesday upturned the judgement of the Election Tribunal, which sacked the Federal House of Representatives member representing Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency, Kolade Akinjo last month.
The tribunal had nullified Akinjo’s election on October 6, 2015. on the grounds of ineligibility for the polls.
The 3-man panel led by Justice Abiyiri Shehu faulted the tribunal judgment for ruling that Akinjo was not a member of the PDP at the time of the election because his membership card was not signed by his ward chairman and secretary.
Earlier, the Tribunal headed by Justice Antony Ogar, hinged its ruling on the fact that the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) for the April 11 election was not an eligible flag bearer of the party.
Though the Tribunal, in its verdict, upheld the fairness of the election and lawful votes, it averred that the PDP candidate was not duly nominated by the PDP for the election as he was still a member of LP when he contested the election under the platform of the PDP.
The Tribunal verdict maintained held the nomination did not comply with due process and consequently nullify the election, thereby ordering for a fresh election for the Federal Constituency.
The appeal court noted that Akinjo’s challenger, Lucky Aiyedatiwa would have had a good case if he had presented another card to show that the federal lawmaker’s card was fake and not credible enough to attest to his membership of the PDP before the March 28 National Assembly election.
He therefore ruled, upholding Akinjo’s candidacy as the duly elected representative of the constituency but awarded no cost of damages for the respondents.
The APC counsel, Charles Titiloye, in his reaction, said his party has accepted the verdict in good fate but would soon make its position known, while PDP counsels, Remi Olatubora and Adeoti Adejuyigbe both lauded the court, which they said has again restored confidence in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man.