The Appeal Court, sitting in Abuja, yesterday dismissed an application for a stay of proceedings filed by Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) against his election.
A governorship aspirant in the last election, Olusegun Abraham, is challenging the choice of Akeredolu as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 26, last year, poll.
Abraham said the party’s primary, which upheld the selection of Akeredolu, was fraught with irregularities.
The APC chieftain said APC’s investigative committee recommended a repeat of the primary.
Shortly after the primary, Abraham sought an interim injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Akeredolu as the party’s governorship candidate in the November 26 poll, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed on the matter.
In October, last year, the Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, held that Abraham’s application for an interim injunction had merit.
The court ordered Akeredolu to appear before it on October 28, last, but the governor appealed the ruling and filed a stay of proceedings.
The appellate court ruled that the appeal and the application for a stay of proceedings lacked merit.
The court also ordered the governor to put up a defence as one of the respondents in the suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Abraham hailed the ruling, saying it was democracy in action.
A statement yesterday in Akure, the state capital, by the Director-General of Abraham Support Group (ASG), Kunle Eko-Davies, said: “The events leading to the 2015 Ondo State APC primary are still fresh in our memories. The unilateral act of our party’s National Chairman to submit the name of Akeredolu as the candidate of the party, contrary to the decision of the party’s Appeal Committee and National Working Committee (NWC), is also fresh in our memories.
“This is a quit notice to Governor Akeredolu and his members to vacate the Government House, which was acquired illegally.”
It urged members of the ruling party and supporters to remain calm and prayerful.
The statement added that the dispute would be handled as a family matter and resolved by the courts.