State Minister for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, says Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State would have lost in Supreme Court if Eyitayo Jegede of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had joined Governor Mai Kala Buni of Yobe State in his appeal.
Keyamo particularly warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) of imminent legal tussles if Governor Buni remains its interim leader.
The minister, also a member of the party, in a leaked memo released on Wednesday, said the “unity” in the party might be short-lived if the party went ahead with its planned congresses under the leadership of Buni.
The planned congresses hold nationwide on Saturday.
Hinging his reasons on the split decision of the Supreme Court to uphold Rotimi Akeredolu as governor of Ondo State earlier on Wednesday, the minister said the APC escaped potential defeat due to ‘little technicality’ which may not be applicable in subsequent court cases.
Four out of the seven-member panel of the apex court dismissed the appeal of Jegede, the October 2020 governorship candidate the PDP in Ondo, to remove Akeredolu as the elected state governor.
In his reaction to this judgement, Keyamo said the ruling party would have lost the case if Jegede had joined Buni in the suit.
“The little technical point that saved Gov Akeredolu was that Jegede failed to join Governor Mai Mala Buni in the suit. Jegede was challenging the competence of Gov. Mai Mala Buni as a sitting governor to run the affairs of the APC as chairman of the Caretaker Committee.
“He contends that this is against Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution which states that a sitting Governor shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever.
“In other words, had Buni been joined in the suit, the story may have been different today as we would have lost Ondo State to the PDP,” he noted.
Keyamo said the technicality found therein in the judgement may string chains of suits from APC members to question the legitimacy of the 13-month old interim leadership of Buni to organise congresses and national convention.