Rotimi Akeredolu

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed a stay of proceedings application by Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, in a case brought by a governorship aspirant in the last election, Olusegun Abraham, challenging his election.

Mr. Abraham is challenging the choice of Mr. Akeredolu as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress in the November 26, 2016 governorship election.

Mr. Abraham, who came second in the primaries, which is the crux of the case before the court, is seeking an order nullifying the election of the Mr. Akeredolu.

According to him, the primaries which upheld the selection of Mr. Akeredolu was fraught with irregularities as affirmed by an investigative committee of the party, which also recommended a repeat of the exercise.

Shortly after the primaries, Mr. Abraham sought an interim injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission, from recognising Mr. Akeredolu as the governorship candidate of APC in the Ondo election scheduled for November 26, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed in the suit.

In October last year, the Federal High Court in Abuja presided by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, ruled that the application for interim injunction sought by Mr. Abraham, the first runner-up in the controversial Ondo governorship primaries of the APC, had merit.

The court then ordered Mr. Akeredolu to appear before it on October 28, 2016, but he appealed the ruling and also filed a stay of proceedings.

The appeal court however ruled that the appeal and the application for stay of proceeding lacked merit.

The court also ordered the governor to put up a defence as one of the respondents to the suit, which is marked FHC/ABJ / CS/788/2016 at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Mr. Abraham has hailed the ruling, saying it was a quit notice to the governor and his supporters and an indication that democracy was maturing in the country.

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