Dr. John Kayode Fayemi may have since assumed the post of EkitiState Governor since December 2019. But there are still legal rivers to cross for the second-time helmsman. Erstwhile Ekiti governor, Engineer Segun Oni, is unrelenting on his cause to render the seat vacant through legal means. Leveraging on the constitution and its provision for
Dr. John Kayode Fayemi may have since assumed the post of EkitiState Governor since December 2019. But there are still legal rivers to cross for the second-time helmsman. Erstwhile Ekiti governor, Engineer Segun Oni, is unrelenting on his cause to render the seat vacant through legal means.
Leveraging on the constitution and its provision for arbitration, Oni and his team are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to pursue perceived justice at the Supreme Court after scaling the hurdles at the Court of Appeal.
The Supreme Court is at the moment engaged in considering the nitty-gritty of the Appeal Court ruling before it with a view to determining whether or not Fayemi as a serving Minister of Mining Resources should have resigned before participating in the APC primary election in line with the party’s guidelines as well as the 1999 Constitution, as amended, requiring a public officer to resign 30 days before the general election once he or she becomes a candidate.
Justice Uche Agomoh at the Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti had earlier adjudicated that the issue of 30 days resignation before the primary election did not apply in Fayemi’s case and that he was validly nominated by the APC, saying he was not as a public officer expected to resign before contesting as prescribed by the Electoral Act, 1999 Constitution and Article 2 of the 2014 Guidelines of the APC.
The appellate court upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court, saying Oni’s prayers raised more questions than answers while emphasising that Fayemi was not an employee in the public service.
Several comments in the media had trailed the Appeal Court judgement such as to pick holes in it. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court must still clear all doubts and explored all issues and subjects to arrive at the best judgement. This leaves the route to Supreme Court this week exhilarating.
There have been reports of panicky moves in the Fayemi camp. It is left to be seen how their moves pan out as the H-hour approaches, even as the world awaits the Supreme Court judgement. However it turns out, Nigeria stands to benefit more.
Should the ruling favour Oni, however, the implications would be far-reaching indeed. Fayemi had on Tuesday this week appointed his commissioners in a move he said would put his new government on sound footing. That would mean upsetting the cabinet and setting the wheel of Ekiti state on tenterhooks, somewhat. But then, the rule of law must prevail and especially it would once and for all settle all ambiguities concerning the status of serving public officers who desire to contest for state governorship elections without first resigning from the positions.