Ekiti governorship: Fayemi to know fate May 31

The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, will on May 31, 2013 know whether he would remain in office as the Supreme Court on Monday fixed the date to deliver judgment in the appeal filed by the former Governor of the state, Chief Segun Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Oni has asked the court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which removed him from office and declared Fayemi as the elected governor.
The full panel of the apex court, presided over by Justice Tanko Mohammed, fixed the date after parties in the suit adopted their briefs of argument.
In his submission, counsel to Oni, Joe Kyari-Gadzama, SAN, urged the court to set aside the October 15, 2010 judgment of the lower court, which removed Oni from office on the grounds of an alleged likelihood of bias.
He argued that the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, who constituted and presided over the panel and also wrote the judgment of the Appeal Court that sacked Oni from office, had a close relationship with Senator Bola Tinubu, the alter the alter ego of Fayemi’s party, the Action Congress of Nigeria.
According to Gadzama: “Bias or likelihood of it makes a decision a nullity and is therefore a sufficient ground for the lower court to set aside its own judgment.”
However, in a preliminary objection, Fayemi, through his counsel, Olusola Baiyashea, SAN, said that the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the appeal.
Baiyashea submitted that going by the reports of the National Judicial Council, which investigated the allegation, Salami and the other judges of the appellate court that sat over the matter have been exonerated and hence the allegation had become irrelevant to the instant case.
He also argued that the reliefs sought by the appellant emanated from the governorship election tribunal, which the Court of Appeal is the final bus stop.
He submitted that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal, being an appeal emanating from the decision of the court below in the governorship election petition tribunal of Ekiti State from the governorship election of 2007, to which Section 246 (3) of the 1999 Constitution is applicable.
He also submitted that there was no valid appeal before the court.