FEC Member, Northern gov, Miyetti Allah fingered

We don’t need to arrest the judgment ‘because Jegede will win ― Ondo PDP

We’re not inclined to discuss shifting of date of verdict, it’s at the discretion of court ― Ondo Govt

We don’t have the capacity to say we don’t want a particular governor ― Miyetti Allah

Ondo 2020: Appeal Court may shift judgement due to pressure

Indication emerged that the Court of Appeal judgement earlier scheduled for Wednesday in the case brought before it by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2020 election, Eyitayo Jegede against the election of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu may, after all, be shifted.

The Appeal Court in the Akure Division two weeks ago had reserved the verdict for Wednesday, 16th of June, this year.

Vanguard gathered in Akure, the state capital, that this was as a result of reported pressure from some interested personalities on the three-man panel headed by Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua.

Counsels to Jegede, led by Onyeachi Ikpeazu, SAN, had in their briefs gave reasons why Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and his Deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, should be removed from office because they were wrongfully nominated during the primary election conducted by their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, Akeredolu’s counsel, the APC, and that of INEC, Akin Olujimi, Lateef Fagbemi and Charles Edosanmwon in response punctured all the arguments of Jegede’s counsel submitting that the case was a pre-election matter and should be dismissed forthwith.

Vanguard was informed by a top politician in the state that the “move to shift the date from tomorrow (Wednesday) was coming on the heels of an allegation that a Federal Minister, in conjunction with a serving governor from the North-Eastern part of the country have been mounting pressure on the panel to shift the date.

“A senior member of the Bench from the North West is said to be liaising between the trio led by the minister and another member of the Appeal panel.

However, the source said that “It was unclear if the chairman, Justice Orji-Abadua has been reached to effect the postponement.

The source hinted that “the move to ‘arrest’ the judgment came after series of alleged meetings between the national leadership of the umbrella body of Fulani cattle breeders, Miyetti Allah and the North East governor who is believed to be close to the PDP governorship in the last election, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN.

Also, a top member of Miyetti Allah has expressed concern over “the continued stay in office of Akeredolu was not in the interest of the Fulani ethnic nationality.

According to him “Of course, Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians and the way the Ondo State governor is going, he is against the Fulani people and safety is not guaranteed under him at all.

“How can such a man that benefited from the Fulani to become governor set up what he calls Amotekun to be tormenting us?

“Did we make a mistake to support him against our own man who had spent all his life in Fulani territory in Adamawa, someone who can speak our own Fulfude language in the 2020 election?

“If we made a mistake, we are now going to correct that mistake by partnering with someone we understand and who knows us better to be there. Or is it not when Akeredolu is governor that he can threaten the unity of this country by asking some people to leave a place in Nigeria?

The source said that Jegede and the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar enjoy good relationship and that Atiku is equally the benefactor of the governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

The source recalled that Governor Akeredolu as the chairman of the South West Governors Forum played a major role in checkmating the nefarious activities of criminal herdsmen by spearheading the establishment of the South West Security Network, codenamed Amotekun.

Akeredolu and other southern governors have equally placed a ban on open grazing system in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The source noted that the position of Akeredolu on activities of herdsmen and open grazing of livestock in the country have pitched him with the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami recently.

We don’t need to put pressure to postpone judgement ― Ondo PDP

Contacted on the allegation of mounting pressure on the Appeal Court panel, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state Kennedy Peretei said “lt is not true, nothing like that from our camp here.

“lt is the APC and Akeredolu camp that are trying to mount pressure on the Panel through the CJN. But we believe in the judges, they are capable and will do justice accordingly. We don’t need to put pressure on the judges to postpone the judgement.

We’re not inclined to discuss shifting of date of verdict, it’s at the discretion of court ― Ondo Govt

The information and Orientation commissioner Hon Donald Ojogo in his reaction said “We don’t want to subscribe to the fact that any minister who is a member of the APC would want to cut corners to undermine and possibly unseat Akeredolu because of the views he holds strongly on national issues.

“There is nothing personal in whatever the governor has said. So to remove an APC governor and enthrone PDP and achieve what? I doubt it can ever happen, the Nigerian Judiciary is not that low and it cannot start with this.

“As regards whether or not the date would be shifted is at the discretion of the Honourable Panel which comprises eminent and distinguished jurists. We are not inclined to discussing that.”

We don’t have the capacity to say we don’t want a particular governor ― Miyetti Allah

The state chairman of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Garuba Bello, said “that is a big lie. Miyetti Allah does not have the capability to say we don’t want a particular governor.”

Bello added that “No one can make that kind of decision in Miyetti Allah, even from the national level to state level.

Meanwhile, there is palpable tension in both camps as chieftains of both parties held several meetings ahead of the verdict.

Recall that the Election Tribunal had earlier dismissed the petition filed by Jegede against Akeredolu for want of Jurisdiction and lack of merit.

In the two hours judgement, via zoom, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Abubakar Umar, however, struck out Jegede’s petition for Lack of Jurisdiction.

Justice Umar Abubakar said that the “Issue raised therein in this petition are settled issue of internal affairs and management of a political party which this Tribunal has no Jurisdiction.”

The tribunal ruled that Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his Deputy Lucky Aiyedatiwa were duly nominated and sponsored by the APC in line with section 177 of the constitution and section 31 of the Electoral Act.

“The Tribunal cannot determine whether Mai Bala Buni, the governor of Yobe State is illegally occupying the seat of caretaker chairman of the planning committee of the extraordinary convention of the APC,” the court ruled.

Abubakar said the Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa demonstrated without the benefit of the doubt that they were duly sponsored by a political party.

The tribunal Chairman said the evidence of submission of the names of Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa by Buni led Caretaker Committee at the instance of the party’s NEC was not disputed by the petitioners.

He further pointed out that Buni’s membership of the APC was also not disputed by the petitioners.

“There is also evidence to confirm that the APC as the sponsor complied with the law in the process for the submission of the names of its Candidates, Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa”.

“Jegede’s case is flawed and hereby dismissed. The chairman declared.

Justice Abubakar noted that no extra cost will be put on any parties in the petition as parties would be made to bear their costs.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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