Akeredolu retains Ondo Governor's seat after close Supreme Court verdict

Four judges backed Akeredolu's victory, but three opposed it.

Rotimi Akeredolu [Twitter/@RotimiAkeredolu]

The Supreme Court has upheld the victory of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in last year's Ondo Governorship Election in a split decision announced on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.

A majority judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim found the appeal filed against Akeredolu's victory by his opponent, Eyitayo Jegede, and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was incompetent.

Four judges on the seven-member panel agreed on the verdict, but the other three ruled that the appeal had merit.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Akeredolu winner of the October 10, 2020 election with 292,830 votes, while Jegede finished second with 195,791 votes.

In a petition filed before a tribunal, Jegede said the election was marred by irregularities and pockets of violence and intimidation.

He also faulted the governor's emergence as the APC candidate, alleging that he wasn't properly nominated according to electoral guidelines.

Jegede lost the case at both the tribunal and the Court of Appeal, before his final loss at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

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