- Fayose hails verdict
- APC vows to appeal judgement
The Ekiti State Governorship Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Friday affirmed the victory of Governor Ayodele Fayose in the June 21, 2014 poll.
The tribunal had relocated to Abuja after hoodlums disrupted the proceedings in Ado-Ekiti in September.
Justice Suraju Mohammed-led tribunal dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the declaration of Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner in the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Fayose the winner of the election defeating the APC and its candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The tribunal held on Friday that APC’s petition lacked in merit as the party failed to prove any of its claims.
The party had through its petition asked the tribunal to void the election which it alleged was marred by irregularities.
The party had also contended that Fayose was not qualified to have stood for the election on the grounds that he was impeached from the same office in 2006 and that his Higher National Diploma Certificate was forged.
The APC had therefore asked the tribunal to nullify the election on the grounds of the alleged irregularities characterising the poll or in the alternative return its candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who polled the second highest votes, as the winner.
The respondents to the petition were the PDP, Fayose, INEC, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector-General of Police.
In its judgement, the three-man panel led by Justice Suraj Mohammed held that the petitioner failed to prove the alleged irregularities characterising the poll.
It noted that the petitioner contradicted itself when it sought an order nullifying the election and in another breath sought that the certificate of return be given to its candidate.
Meanwhile, Fayose, on Friday hailed the governorship election petition tribunal’s verdict which dismissed the petition of the APC challenging his victory in the June 21, 2014 election.
He said the verdict had demonstrated that the Ekiti people freely gave him their mandate.
Fayose, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, said the election was the freest in the political history of the country.
The statement read: “We have said ab initio that going to court by the APC was trying God and that it is the character of a bad loser whose stock in trade is fabricating lies purposely to deceive the gullible minds. Ekiti people who came out to vote for Fayose are not fools.”
However, in a statement by its state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Olatubosun, the APC said it was dissatisfied with the verdict which dismissed the petition based on the fact that the grounds of the petition were pre-election matters.
“Even though the tribunal did not say that all the issues raised against Fayose were not true, dismissing the entire case on the basis of pre-election matter tag will be challenged at the Appeal Court.”