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Ekiti: Appeal court sacks Senator Arise, orders rerun

By Dayo Benson, Political Editor & Demola Akinyemi
ILORIN—Barely a week after the Court of Appeal sitting in Ilorin sacked Senator Femi Kila, (PDP), representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District, the same court yesterday ordered a rerun election in Ekiti North Senatorial District which Senator Ayo Arise represents in an appeal filed by Arise against Action Congress candidate, Mr Olubunmi Adetunmbi

The Appeal court ordered Senator Ayo Arise of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Ekiti North in the National Assembly to vacate his seat ahead of the by-election that was ordered to take place in the senatorial district within ninety days.

Justice Jumai Sankey who read the lead judgment dismissed the application filed by the Senator, saying “the appeal is wholly lacking in merit, it is hereby dismissed’.’

The court further ruled that, “by-election is hereby ordered to be conducted in Ekiti North senatorial district within ninety days and all parties are to bear their cost’.’

Her counterpart in the judgment, Justice Igwe Agube who also concurred, however, counseled the two warring political parties in an emotion laden voice, saying, “let politics not tear the bastion of intellectuality in Nigeria apart, election should not be a do or die affair, it should never be a matter of life and death

. And to INEC Justice Agube admonished, “please let the people chose their leader’’

The vice chairman of  PDP in Ekiti State, Mr Adetifa Tunde, who was in the court accepted the judgement, describing it as God’s opinion.

“We have accepted it, we are going back to the drawing board to re-sensitize our people on the need to have decorum and conduct themselves without any act of thuggery in the forthcoming election. By the grace of almighty God we will win that election again fair and square,’’ he stressed.

Ekiti AC PRO, Mr Taiwo Omiyale in an interview exuded confidence that the party would win the by-election.

His words,”the judgement is an indication that AC is fully on ground in Ekiti State. The people are ready to vote for us anytime any day, we are ever ready, we will win the by- election’’

It would be recalled that INEC had declared Senator Ayo Arise, the PDP candidate a winner of that election before the Action Congress challenged the victory at the Election petition tribunal.

Mr Olubunmi Adetunmbi, the AC candidate had said Senator Ayo Arise’s victory was marred with irregularities and the process of his election was contrary to the provisions of the electoral act, among others.

The tribunal had granted the prayer and quashed the victory by ordering the rerun of the election, which the PDP also challenged at the Appeal court, which prompted yesterday’s judgment.

In his reaction Action Congress gubernatorial candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi told Vanguard in a telephone interview that, “It is along the same pattern. We know PDP did not win any part of Ekiti, so we are not surprised.

It is a victory for doggedness and consistency. We salute the courage of the AC candidate because he could have sold out.

So we commend our party supporters who believe in us and who believe in justice. There is no way PDP can win in Ekiti. The candidate  is from Oni’s home town, so it is going to be difficult.

But we still have a job to do because it is not like that of Senator Bode Ola. This is a rerun, but we believe we will win. “


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