The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, on Wednesday has reacted to the Supreme Court judgement which upheld his election as the duly elected governor of the state, appreciating the judiciary for standing by the truth and for not yielding to any influence.
Basking in the euphoria of his victory at the Alagbaka, Government House, Akeredolu said the verdict has laid to rest distractions by the opposition to send him packing from office, appreciating the Judiciary for standing by the truth.
Akeredolu however, called on the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede to join him in developing the state.
Akeredolu said: “I just heard the news of the final decision of the final court on the election petition filed by my brother, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN. The Supreme Court dismissed his appeal on a 4-3 basis and that in essence is that from the Tribunal up to the Supreme Court.
“The Justices have affirmed that the petition was most frivolous. As you know 12 Justices have affirmed in our favour and only three supported that petition. Three at the Tribunal, five at the Court of Appeal and four at the Supreme Court.
“So, I have every reason to thank God and to appreciate our judiciary for standing by the truth and for not yielding to any influence. I believe that we can still be proud of our judiciary in this country.
“For me, it is an opportunity again for us to get on board and do more work. And for me, the glory of this victory of this election petition success is to God Almighty.
“I want to thank the legal team that has represented us. We have so many Senior Advocates of Nigeria. We thank the INEC team led by Charles Edosanwan and Bawa, both of them SAN. We also thank the APC team lead by Lateef Fabgbemi, SAN and others including Sola Oke, SAN.
“I want to also thank my team led by Akinola Olujimi, SAN for their work. We now plan to get this behind us and get to work.”
He however extended the hand of fellowship to Jegede, calling him to join him in taking the state to a greater height.
“My advice to Jegede is that this has ended now. Let him come, let us work together, at least for the upliftment of Ondo State. I don’t doubt his love for the state. He has served here before as Attorney General for about Seven and half years.
“Let him come over, let us work together and work for this state. That is my advice to him. We don’t go any longer to the privy council. It has ended here.”
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, has commended the judiciary over what it described as a sound and faultless judgement on the State governorship election petition.
The party in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaye, said “We urge the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to appeal to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, where the party and its governorship candidate take exception to the collapse of their petition.
“The party is thrilled by the resolve of the apex court to uphold the decisions of the lower courts on the petition. The truth is always constant.
“The chapter rejoices with the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, his deputy, Hon. Lucky Ayedatiwa, and all the residents of the Sunshine state for this popular affirmation of the people’s mandate.
“The APC family expresses profound appreciation to all the parties and stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the legal teams, chieftains of the ruling party, and the electorate, for their contributions and support while the legal battle lasted.
“The party enjoins the Governor and his Deputy to put the legal gymnastics and distractions behind them, and focus on their selfless approach to governance, in the interest of every resident of the state, irrespective of party affiliations.
“While sympathizing with the PDP over the internal crisis rocking the party, the Ondo APC challenges the PDP to reorganize itself so it could present a productive opposition to the performing government.