Governors Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe) were all affirmed Tuesday by the Supreme Court to be the duly elected governors of their respective states, with Okowa and Ajimobi admonishing their opponents.
The apex court in separate decisions dismissed all the appeals challenging the elections, but promised to provide reasons for its decisions on February 15.
Okowa, who had two appeals against him, called on the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, Olorogun O’Tega Emerhor and that of the Labour Party (LP), Chief Great Ogboru to apologise to Deltans for distracting them with legal battles they knew were not justifiable.
Okowa who spoke at a thanksgiving service in Asaba held shortly after the Supreme Court decision stated, that Emerhor and Ogboru knew they did not win in the election, but approached the Elections Petition Tribunal, to the Court of Appeal and then to the Supreme Court, subjecting Deltans to uncertainties.
“It is time to forgive and move on, I also believe that my opponents should apologise to all Deltans because, they knew the people’s choice but they just wanted to go through this legal process. I have forgiven them but I think they need to apologise to Deltans because they distracted the people”, he said.
Ajimobi on his part, said the judgment had “freed the people of Oyo State from the painful distractions mounted on their path by Senator Rashidi Ladoja and his Accord Party in the past many months.”
He stated in a statement by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy Mr Yomi Layinka, that the Supreme Court judgment had now paved the way for consolidation in his good works.
“Three times the victory of Senator Abiola Ajimobi at the 2015 governorship election was challenged, three times he has been resoundingly declared winner. Although all men and women of goodwill pleaded with the Ladoja camp to accept defeat and cooperate with the winner in the onerous task of rebuilding the legacies of our heroes past, they bluntly refused.
“Although other contestants from other parties quickly conceded defeat and indeed proceeded to congratulate the winner, Senator Ladoja and his party refused to play the gallant losers, preferring instead to fight to the finish”, he said.
Ajimobi also said, “Now that their fight is exhausted and their wind vanes broken, we hope Senator Rashidi Ladoja and his band will henceforth turn their energies to better and more productive ends in the interest of our dear state and its development.”
Justice Mary Peter-Odili, who delivered the lead judgment in Yobe’s case had said: “I have reviewed the records in this appeal and the briefs filed by the parties. I find no merit in the appeal and I hereby dismiss it.
She did not award cost but ordered the parties to bear the costs.
Other members of the seven-man panel agreed with her lead judgment.
Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi read the lead judgment in the case of Oyo.
She said: “I have read all the processes filed in this appeal. I have also considered all the arguments by parties. I dismissed the appeal.”
Justice Ogunbiyi also dismissed as an abuse of court process, an appeal filed by Rasheed Ladoja of the Accord Party.
She awarded no cost, but said she will provide reasons for her decision on February 15.
Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammed who read the lead judgment in one of the appeals on Delta governorship election also dismissed the appeal
He said: ”I have carefully considered the records of appeal in this case. I have also considered the arguments by counsel and their briefs, I find no merit in the appeals.
He ordered the parties to bear their cost.
There were two appeals from Delta State. One by Great Ogboru of Labour Party. That appeal was dimissed by Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammed.
The second appeal which was filed by the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Olorogun Otega Emehor was dismissed by Justice John Okoro.
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