Home News Tribunal Dismisses APC’s Petition against Fayose

Tribunal Dismisses APC’s Petition against Fayose

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Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

The Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition
> Tribunal siting in Abuja, has dismissed the petition filed
> by the All Progressive Congress, (APC) challenging the
> return of the return of Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples
> Democratic Party as the winner of the governorship election
> held in the state.
> The tribunal affirmed the return of  Fayose  by
> the Independent National Election Commission, (INEC), last
> June.
>
> The panel held that the witnesses paraded by the
> petitioner were unable to adduce concrete evidence to
> support allegations  of corrupt practices at the polling
> units.
> It also held that  their testimonies did not
> support the allegations that the election did not comply
> substantially with the provisions of the Electoral
> Act.
> The chairman of the panel Justice Ibrahim
> Serajo‎ who read the tribunal’s judgment held as
> follows:
> ‎”The testimonies of these witnesses are
> unsatisfactory and their inability to give the names of the
> polling units as well as the names of their agents at those
> unnamed polling units shows that most of them that gave
> evidence of these alleged non compliance did not vote at the
> election as such their testimonies failed to support their
> claims, none of them gave evidence on the improper
> accreditation or manipulation of
> accreditation.
> “The petitioner failed to substantiate the
> allegation of improper accreditation or non accreditation of
> voters ”
>
> The panel also held that failure of the
> petitioner to produce witnesses from majority of the polling
> units to substantiate the allegation of improper and or non
> accreditation of voters at the polling units had damaged the
> substance of the petition.
>  Similarly it rejected  the claim of the APC
> that the election was systematically and scientifically
> conducted by the use of indelible photo chronic  and
> vanishing inks that faded within minutes in such a way to
> favour the emergence of the PDP candidate at the
> election.
>
> He said: “No evidence was tendered by the
> petitioner to substantiate the use of scientific
> photo-chronic ink neither was any specialist invited by the
> petitioner with scientific qualification to prove that such
> an ink was used. The only three witnesses who gave evidence
> in connection to the ink were one politician who claimed not
> to know anything about a computer, an agent who is not well
> educated and a farmer, by their testimonies, these witnesses
> do not possess the required expertise to prove that
> scientific indelible ink and photo-chronic ballot papers
> were used in the conduct of the election. This is fatal to
> that ground of the petition.”
>
> The panel also held that as at the time Fayose
> declared his interest to contest the Ekiti state
> fovernorship election the APC  was aware of his alleged
> disqualification and that the issue was already being
> canvassed before an Ekiti State Hgh Court before the
> election which made the issue a pre election matter upon
> which the tribunal did not have the  the jurisdiction to
> entertain. It thereafter struck out that ground of the
> petition.
>
> Similarly, the panel held that sections 19 and
> 20 of the Electoral Act provided for the display of the
> voters register 30 days to the election and noted that a
> diligent political party ought to have complained against
> any failure by the electoral umpire to comply with that
> provision.
> It further held  that the issue of contravention
> of code of conduct, like the issue of Fayose’s non
> qualification, falls within those issues considered as pre
> election issues, and subsequently struck out that ground of
> the petition in favour of the PDP and Fayose.
>
> On the inclusion of the Inspector General of
> Police and the Chief of Army Staff in the petition, the
> tribunal held that they were not necessary parties in the
> petition as they were not included in the provisions of
> section 137(2) and (3) of the Electoral Act where the
> classes of respondents in an election petition were
> listed.
> It held that election petition matters were
> special proceedings which did not support the importation of
> persons not covered in the laws and further maintained that
> no single reliefs was claimed against the IGP or the COAS
> and thereafter struck out their names from
> the petition.
>
> The tribunal also struck out many paragraphs of
> the petition on the ground that those paragraphs were made
> up of imprecise statements like “officers and men of
> the armed forces”, “agents of the PDP”,
> “harassment of the supporters of the petitioners”,
> “arresting of key supporters and chieftains of the
> petitioner” which had no names, descriptions or proper
> identifications of those persons being referred to by  the
> petitioners .
> The panel held that those paragraphs were
> nebulous, speculative, not clear and confusing, and pointed
> out that the petitioners failed to provide the names of the
> polling units, where such harassment and intimidation of
> their supporters took place.

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