Following the Appeal Court ruling in his favour on Wednesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has replaced Jimoh Ibrahim of the Ali Modu-Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Eyitayo Jegede of the Ahmed Makarfi faction.
In a statement signed by Mrs Augusta Ogakwu, Secretary to the commission, said INEC “hereby declares that Eyitayo Jegede is now the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Ondo State governorship election scheduled for 23rd November 2016.”
This the commission said, followed the Appeal Court ruling, just as it urged Ondo State electorate to exercise their franchise at the election.
The parties and their candidates in the election were enjoined to play by the rules and cooperate with the commission to ensure the smooth conduct of the election
The Appeal Court had ruled earlier on Wednesday that Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court erred by ordering INEC to swap the name Jegede for Ibrahim as authentic PDP candidate in Saturday’s election.
Reactions to the judgement have expectedly been mixed. While the Makarfi faction hailed the ruling for setting the records straight, Jimoh Ibrahim announced plans to seek justice at the Supreme Court on Thursday.
According to him: “I have read the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered today (Wednesday). We have nothing to lose, as the Supreme Court sits on the same case tomorrow.
“We shall get justice at the Supreme Court and if PDP wins Saturday election, we shall have our four-year mandate to rule Ondo State.
“Let me advise you not to abuse anyone or fight over this one day ruling. Mimiko will not succeed himself with Jegede. This is too sure.
“We continue with our work and remain in our great party, PDP. I love the great people of Ondo state and I thank you all for continuous support.”
Ruling on the appeal CA/ A/551C/2016, the Appeal Court Justices: Salauwa, Aguba and Mbaba resolved all seven issues raised by Wole Olanipekun SAN counsel to Eyitayo Jegede, in the appeal in favor of Jegede.
The Court agreed with Olanipekun that “It’s a misnomer for Jimoh to have benefited from Abang ruling as he’s not a party to the suit.”