Oni loses as Supreme Court failed to sack Fayemi
It was a third consecutive loss for ex-Governor Segun Oni in his bid to sack Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State as the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the appeal he filed.
The appeal was against an earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the decision of a Federal High Court, dismissing Oni’s suit challenging Fayemi’s eligibility to contest the last governorship election held in the state on June 14, 2018.
The Supreme Court, in a unanimous judgment of a five-man panel, held on Wednesday, that the appeal by Oni was statute barred and therefore, incompetent.
Justice Amiru Sanusi, in the lead judgment, held that the case, being a pre-election one, was not commenced at the trial court, within the time provided under Section 285 of the Constitution.
Justice Sanusi said the case was not commenced in accordance with the provision of Section 285 of the Constitution, requiring all pre-election cases to be initiated within 14 days of the occurrence of the cause of action.
He noted that from the record before the court Oni filed his suit at the trial court – the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, 42 days after the cause of action arose.
Justice Sanusi said the development robbed the court of the jurisdiction to hear the appeal, while he said was incompetent and had become an academic exercise.
Another member of the panel, Justice John Okoro faulted the attitude exhibited by the appellant and advised politicians to always act decently.
Justice Okoro wondered why Oni, who had conceded defeat, on emerging second in the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), made a sudden u-turn and chose to challenge the outcome of the primary in court.
The judge, who noted that, even among the mafias, there are rules, came down hard on Nigerian politicians, who he observed, act without honour.
Oni had, upon emerging second behind Fayemi in the primary held by the APC to select its candidate for last governorship election in Ekiti State, sued, challenging Fayemi’s eligibility to contest the election.
He prayed the court to declare that Fayemi was not eligible to contest the election on the grounds that he was not validly nominated, having allegedly failed to resign his position as Minister of Mines and Steel Development 30 days before the primary election.
Oni also asked the court to declare Fayemi ineligible for the election given that he was indicted by the Justice Silas Oyewole-led commission of inquiry set up by former Governor Ayo Fayose to investigate his first tenure between 2010 and 2014.