Rotimi Akeredolu and Eyitayo Jegede
By Alaba-Olusola Oke/Ayodeji Alabi
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has urged Eyitayo Jegede, his opponent in the last governorship election to partner with him in building the state to higher heights.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Court of Appeal, sitting in Akure on Wednesday dismissed the appeal filed by Mr Eyitayo Jegede, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in Oct. 10, 2020 governorship election.
The appeal court judge, Justice Theresa Orji-Abadua, had in a virtual judgment, upheld the decision of the tribunal, which validated the re-election of Akeredolu, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Orji-Abadua, who led the five man panel, said the case filed by Jegede lacked merit.
Akeredolu, in a statement shortly after the appellate court’s verdict said, “notwithstanding the verdict of the appeal court, it is another great opportunity for Jegede to join in the task.
“The Appeal Court has just, a while ago, delivered a landmark judgment, affirming my election as the duly-elected Governor of Ondo State alongside my Deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
“Understandably, many had waited in animated breaths for the outcome of this case, which commenced from the lower tribunal to this extent.
“This is a permissible venture in clearly inoffensive exercise of the rights of litigants. No grudges against any in this regard.
“All have seen the scholarly industry infused into this judicial exercise by the most venerable honourable Appeal Court of eminent jurists.
“The issues examined and conclusions reached have further enriched our nation’s jurisprudence, no doubt,” he said.
Akeredolu, who said the responsibility of leadership reposed in him was tasking, explained that the partnership could only be beneficial, if everyone set aside politics for the common goal.
According to him, this collective, bi-partisan efforts and approach are more desirable now, than anyone can imagine.
“This is because we have all won together, and together must we develop our dear state,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Ade Adetimehin, the Chairman, State Caretaker Committee of APC, in the state described the Court of Appeal’s judgment validating the re-election victory of Gov. Akeredolu, as an affirmation of people’s decision.
Adetimehin said in a congratulatory message that the appellate court verdict is “an affirmation of people’s decision”.
He, however, commended the PDP’s governorship candidate for giving a civilised account of himself by approaching the court.
The chairman urged Jegede to consider the interest of the state, and suspend further legal action.
“The Akeredolu-led government needs to remain focussed on its patriotic zeal to develop the state and the people.
“This calls for the support of all, including leaders of the opposing parties,” he said.
Adetimehin, while inviting Jegede to join the progressive party in the state, said, “while the PDP built Shopprite in Akure, the APC has built several factories across the state to trigger economic activities.”
He applauded the Court of Appeal Panel for cementing the judgment of the tribunal, by upholding “a dispassionate, and objective stand on the matter”.
Adetimehin rejoiced with all members of the party, and the good people of the state, urging them to continually support the performing APC-led government in the Sunshine State.