Tuesday, April 14, 2015 10:59 am
The court ruled that Fayose’s impeachment in 2006 was not enough to unseat him as the elected governor.
In the unanimous decision by the seven-man panel led by Justice John Fabiyi, the court upheld the earlier decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Ekiti State Governorship Election Tribunal, which had both earlier ruled that the petition challenging Fayose’s victory lacked merit.
Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, who read the lead judgement, dismissed all the grounds of appeal filed by the petitioner – the All Progressives Congress against Fayose election. Fayose had trounced the APC candidate, Kayode Fayemi, 203,000 votes to 120,,433 votes.
Although accepted the result, the APC challenged it on grounds of alleged irregularities, intimidation of its leaders by the military, ineligibility of Fayose to stand for the election and allegation that the PDP candidate forged his Higher National Diploma certificate presented to INEC. The petition failed at the tribunal and the Appeal court.
And today, Supreme Court concurred by holding that none of the grounds of appeal was proved by the appellant.
The court said that while impeachment was not a ground of disqualification from contesting as governor under section 182 of Nigeria’s constitution, the panel which recommended Fayose for impeachment on October 16, 2006, was illegally and unconstitutionally constituted.
On allegation of certificate forgery, the court upheld the earlier verdict by Court of Appeal, which held that the HND certificate was genuinely earned by and awarded to Fayose.