PDP governorship candidate in the October 20 2012 election in Ondo State, Chief Olusola Oke has hailed the judgment of the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure which quashed the ruling of the Ondo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. Describing it as another signal that the Nigerian Judiciary had men of impeccable character who were determined to ensure that justice was done at all times, Oke in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity said the Justices of the Court of Appeal had shown that the Judiciary was capable of regulating itself thereby saving the common man from arbitrary justice.
The PDP former national Legal Adviser had earlier approached the Appeal Court to challenge the February ruling of the Tribunal which struck out the name of PDP as part of his petition on account of its name being signed for by Mr. Chris Omotuyi, the state Director of Organisation of the party whom the tribunal ruled was incompetent and defective. The tribunal panel led by Chairman, Justice Andoverr Kaka also refused additional facts sought to be presented by Oke to prove the illegal injection of names into INEC voters register. It also struck out some paragraphs in Oke’s petition on account that they were not pleaded and were incompetent. But in a unanimous decision, the five justices of the Appeal panel restored PDP as a petitioner in the case.
It also restored some paragraphs of Oke’ s petition earlier struck out by the lower tribunal. According to the judgment read by Justice Habu Gumel, the court also dismissed the preliminary objections by the Labour Party’s candidate, Olusegun Mimiko on the grounds that it was incurably incompetent and an abuse of court process. Adebayo said the judgment was a further proof that the victory of Mimiko was infested with viruses of imperfections and could not stand the test of judicial scrutiny. Adebayo commended the Justices of Appeal Court for their boldness, fairness and courage to reverse the ruling of the lower tribunal.
“Their lordships at the Appeal Court have vindicated our stance that the ruling and opinion of the Learned Justices of the Tribunal was pervesed and jaundiced. We had said it that issues before the judiciary that will help society to choose its desired leadership are too sensitive to be handled with levity.” Adebayo said the judgment of the Appeal Court, which the PDP claims to dedicates to the anxious people of Ondo State, was a challenge to the Tribunal panel to stand above sentiment and know that public interest was keenly invested in its activities and pronouncements.