NIGERIA’S highest ranking female lawmaker ever Senator Abiodun Olujimi the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has returned to the National Assembly after the Federal Court of Appeal recently declared her duly elected to represent Ekiti South Senatorial District.
Between 2015 and 2019, Senator Olujimi, who is a former deputy governor, represented the senatorial district in the National Assembly. However, at the last elections in February this year, Dayo Adeyeye of All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared the winner of the head-to-head between the two of them.
Subsequently, Senator Olujimi took the matter to the elections tribunal which declared her the winner and on Wednesday this week, the Federal Court of Appeal, sitting in Kaduna upheld that judgement. With her victory, Senator Olujimi will now return to the senate, where she is one of the most senior PDP lawmakers.
Senator Olujimi said: “I have been speechless since yesterday morning when the Appeal Court, sitting in Kaduna upheld the decision of the lower tribunal to the effect that I be returned as senator, elected on the platform of the PDP in the last senatorial election. It’s a mixed feeling of relief and unbelief and I am yet to fully grasp the import of God’s mercy and compassion
“Suffice it to say that I cannot fully gather my thoughts now but will be brief and will do a comprehensive write up later. For me, it was sheer grace, uncommon grace that spoke for me and I will never take it for granted.”
She saluted the courage and tenacity of Prince Dayo Adeyeye, her opponent in the election debacle, saying he gave her a reason to rejoice. Senator Olujimi also thanked the PDP men and women, the party national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, the former senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki, governors and all those who stood by her.
“Prince Adeyeye gave me a strong reason to pursue my conviction with decency. Let me say that I know how it feels to be in his situation but I ask that he will understand that democracy is a bitter/sweet system which we all submitted to.
“I wish him luck as he moves on to plan for the future and ask that he doesn’t jettison the zeal to assist and give back to his constituency. We must work to make our constituents better and I will be willing to work with him on projects that will enhance the development of Ekiti South as politics must bind rather than separate us,” Senator Olujimi added.
She stressed: “I cannot finish without acknowledging the judiciary, particularly, those that were involved in the tribunal and the appeal. They renewed my hope in a better Nigeria where justice is compelled by transparency and fairness, so I salute you all.
“I pray that you don’t relent in your quest to be fair even in the face of huge tension, so thank you for doing justice to the case. Lastly, I thank God for his mercies and grace. May his grace abide with us now and forever.
Senator Olujimi had been the senate minority leader up until the last election and had even been tipped as a candidate for the senate president if the PDP won a majority in the upper chamber. She is the highest ranking female lawmaker ever in the history of Nigeria and may be given a senior role now that she is back in the senate.