For Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, what phrases can not clarify, his latest Supreme Court docket victory conveys. Not many politicians would perceive what it means to have a governorship mandate reduce quick. To lose a second time period mandate out of a political trifling past one’s making, most assuredly, may open the floodgate of frustration, potential despair and varied dangerous feelings.
That explains why in Nigeria, state governors do all method of issues to make sure that they safe a second time period in workplace. Out there indicators present that governors see their second time period because the glory hour of their political development.
Nonetheless, within the case of Arakunrin, a loss to his brother-lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Eyitayo Jegede, on the Supreme Court docket would have been not solely devastating, however excruciating.
In contrast to his colleagues that romanticize the thought of political elevation to both the Senate or Presidency, Aketi has not uncovered any latent or apparent indicators of such political intentions.
However, maybe as a approach of reciprocating the choice of Ondo individuals to reward him with the governorship in 2016, after a disastrous outing in 2012 on the platform of defunct Motion Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Aketi introduced again the expertise of his activist days to bear on the expression of his programmes as governor.
It’s not solely members of the authorized career that do not forget that the present governor of the Sunshine State was a President of Nigeria Bar Affiliation (NBA). Nonetheless, not everyone would recall how he carried out the duties and duties of the workplace of NBA President with panache and non secular insistence that the regulation guidelines and nothing else.
As NBA President, Akeredolu, at a lecture surprised Nigerians when he declared that no quantity of electoral reform or judicial system would give Nigeria free and truthful elections except Nigerians themselves resolved to take sensible steps to make sure that their votes rely.
In 2009, when politicians have been talking with tongue cheek, Akeredolu asserted that President Umaru Yar’Adua ought to have handed over to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan to function appearing President throughout his sickness.
Maybe, it was in recognition of his braveness and forthrightness that the NBA named its new secretariat in Abuja after him.
Credit score for the wave making political and electoral triumphs of ACN as a veritable opposition political social gathering, particularly the post-election authorized victories in court docket, is reserved for the previous NBA President and his likes.
Energy past poll
BUT, refusing to say die, particularly provided that the courts have develop into the ultimate umpire in electoral contests, Jegede, espied a really auspicious hole in Aketi’s nomination and proceeded to problem his victory, first on the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, then on the Enchantment Court docket and eventually on the court docket of final occasion, Nigeria’s Supreme Court docket.
Almost! That was the loud exclamation of Nigerians, when the apex court docket delivered a cut up judgment that re-affirmed Akeredolu’s victory by a ration of 4 to a few justices.
The pronouncement on the chairmanship of All Progressives Congress’ (APC), Caretaker/Extraordinary Conference Planning Committee (CECPC), also called the interim administration committee of the social gathering, raised public apprehension.
As lawyer, Jegede omitted the problems of whether or not the election complied with the Electoral Act or the query of unfold. He didn’t declare that he gained the election, fairly the plaintiff prayed the court docket to find out “the authorized validity of Akeredolu’s nomination” by APC’s CECPC headed by Governor Mai Mala Buni, of Yobe State.
The problem was truly “whether or not Buni, as a sitting governor, may double as nationwide chairman of APC to signal Akeredolu’s nomination type for the governorship election” in view of part 183 of the 1999 Structure as amended.
Part 183 stipulates: “The governor shall not, throughout the interval when he holds workplace, maintain every other government workplace or paid employment in any capability by any means.”
Though the Court docket of Enchantment panel headed by Theresa Orji-Abadua, dismissed the case, it admitted that the problems raised by the appellants had constitutional implications, at the same time as they refused to hitch Governor Buni as a celebration within the go well with.
That statement emboldened Jegede to proceed to the court docket above to topic the findings to additional judicial scrutiny. They prayed the Supreme Court docket to find out whether or not it was a necessity to hitch Buni within the go well with, contemplating that state governors get pleasure from constitutional immunity as per part 308 of the 1999 Structure.
However for a single vote distinction that separated 4 members of the panel led by Emmanuel Agim and the three others led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, the prayers of those that wished Aketi to enter historical past as a one time period governor would have been answered.
Justice Agim and three others held that the non-joinder of Buni rendered the enchantment incompetent, whereas Peter-Odili and co declared that since APC, headed by Buni, was a celebration within the case, there was no want to incorporate him as a vital social gathering within the enchantment in opposition to Akeredolu.
It takes a single objective to raise the world cup in a soccer event. Similar sentiment defined Aketi’s dance of pleasure at his latest reception in Akure. His pleasure transcended mere electoral victory. It represented one thing deeper.
As he started his second time period, Akeredolu shunned political correctness to face together with his individuals by boldly declaring the occupation of Ondo State forest reserves by undocumented herders as unlawful.
Donning his activist garbs, Aketi was all over defending the ancestral land of his forefathers, damning no matter political penalties could befall him from the holders of the levers of federal may. Because the Chairman of Southwest Governors’ Discussion board and Chairman of Southern Governors’ Discussion board, which lately drew a redline to open grazing and insistence on presidential energy shift to the South in 2023, had Aketi fallen out of energy, he would have develop into the butt of ribald jokes, each at residence and overseas.