- Sagay, Falana, others react
Barring some legal technicalities, there are indications that where the case against Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State is headed concerning the alleged rigging of the last governorship election in Ekiti, is a return to the Supreme Court.
This will be with a prayer that the apex court should reverse itself and nullify the election that produced Fayose as Governor. Should that happen, however, the second winner in the governorship poll, former Governor Kayode Fayemi, who is now Minister of Solid Minerals Development automatically returns as governor.
The Supreme Court had earlier nullified the appeal of the rival All Progressives Congress seeking the nullification of Fayose’s victory, as it affirmed the judgements of both the Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
Only on Monday, the then state Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti, Dr. Temitope Aluko, had spilled the beans, alleging that Fayose’s election was actually rigged through the help of the military and mouth-watering financial inducement from the then Presidency under President Goodluck Jonathan.
But will the Supreme Court reverse itself, and can it actually reverse itself in that extant case?
S’COURT CAN REVERSE ITSELF –LEGAL EXPERTS
Legal experts, on Thursday, reacted to the controversy, expressing divergent views. Speaking on the effort to have the Supreme Court reverse itself under this situation, constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay, said, “There is no need to go through the High Court at all seeking the declaration of the Supreme Court. It is from the appellant, that is, the APC because they are the ones who applied to the Supreme Supreme Court.
“To now apply to the Supreme Court to set aside that judgment on governorship election on the ground of fraud, on the ground that it was obtained by fraud, I think is the simple way that the APC can apply to set aside the judgment on the governorship election; on the ground that the judgment was obtained by fraud.”
On his part, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) stressed that, “for sure.” (That is, it is possible for the Supreme Court to revisit the case).
‘JUDGEMENT REVERSAL NOT POSSIBLE’
Conversely, Otunba Olu Adenodi, another legal practitioner, said, “They (the Supreme Court) cannot revisit the case again. They have delivered final judgment, so they cannot review it again.
The only other thing is for the Attorney General to bring the things of perjury against Aluko in court since he has admitted that all he said before the Supreme Court were all lies. So that’s the only option open to the Attorney-General. However, there are no consequences since they can’t review the case again.”
Explaining the alleged process of how the rigging took place, Aluko said former President Jonathan gave Fayose N4.7bn cash to conduct the governorship election. He said that the money was used to defeat the then Governor Fayemi, who was the governorship candidate of the APC.
Aluko, who was part of the team that prosecuted the election, added that he was the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee for the Fayose Campaign Organisation. He said, “It was about $35m, which is about N4.7bn (that) Jonathan gave us for the real election, and for the primaries; he released $2m to Fayose. A day to the election, we used the military to block all routes in the local governments and prevented the APC chieftains, including former Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, from coming into Ekiti.
“So, we ensured that no APC chieftain was in sight on election day. We provided polling agents for APC in most of the polling units; so we had no problem getting them to sign election results in the units. All these local and foreign observers, who described the election as free and fair only witnessed the voting exercise on election day, without knowing what transpired before the voting.”
Aluko stressed that as the Chief Returning Officer that signed the election for the PDP, he was fully involved in the plot with Fayose from the very beginning.
Reacting, Fayose’s Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka, said, “For Aluko to be taken seriously, he must first have to report