Residents of Ede, the hometown of Osun State Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke, erupted in jubilation on Thursday, as the Supreme Court dismissed a case by an ex-governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Mr. Dotun Babayemi, challenging Adeleke’s candidature.
Babayemi had prayed the apex court to set aside the decisions of the lower courts and declare him the PDP candidate for the July 16 governorship election in the state.
The five-member justices of the court, led by Justice Amina Augie, held that the appeal was filed out of time as the pre-election matter is time-bound.
While stating that, “a pre-election matter has a period of 14 days, and like a Rock of Gibraltar, cannot be moved,” the court added that there was nothing before it to invoke its jurisdiction.
Efforts by counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), to convince the panel to take a look at the merits of the appeal proved abortive as the court held that it lacks jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The appeal, having been withdrawn by the counsel for the appellant, the court consequently dismissed it.
The ParrotReporters.com reports that before the state governorship election, different primaries produced Babayemi and Adeleke but the National Working Committee of the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission recognised Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the party.
Babayemi challenged the recognition of Adeleke as the candidate of the party before the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal but lost and he approached the Supreme Court.
In his judgment on the matter on May 18, Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of a Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo, upheld the governorship primary that produced Adeleke.
Also, the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, in its judgment of July 20 on the appeal filed against the decision of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, aligned with the lower court and dismissed Babayemi’s appeal.
Jubilation in Ede
Immediately news filtered in that the apex court had dismissed the matter, residents of Ede thronged Adeleke’s country home in jubilation.
Residents also stormed Timi of Ede’s palace in jubilation, with many motorists caught within the scene having a difficult time moving through the crowd.
There was, however, calm in Osogbo, the state capital, with security operatives taking positions in strategic locations across the town.
Meanwhile, Adeleke has said his faith in the judiciary has always been strong, just as he acknowledged that government’s arm as a harbinger of fairness and equity.
The governor-elect, in a statement by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, commended his supporters and dedicated the victory to God and the people of the state.
The statement read in part, “As I noted in my statement on Wednesday, this project is divine and is here to stay. Our people voted for light and we must all defend and sustain that mandate built on our five-point agenda for good governance.”
Also reacting to the judgment, the state chapter of the PDP, in a statement by its caretaker chairman, Dr. Adekunle Akindele, lauded the judiciary for living up to expectations and reaffirmed that Babayemi stand expelled from the party.