By Gbenga Ariyibi
Ado Ekiti—PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP in Ekiti State, has asked the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Ado Ekiti, to strike out the petition by the state chapter of the All Progressive Congress, APC, challenging the declaration of its governorship candidate, Ayo Fayose, as the winner of the June 21 governor ship election in the state.
PDP, which based its argument on what it called non-joinder and mis-joinder of parties in the case, however said it had lined up 35 witnesses to prosecute it case.
The APC has dragged Fayose to the tribunal, claiming among others, that Fayose ,who was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, did not score the highest number of votes in the June 21 governorship election.
The PDP in its preliminary objection, deposed to, by its lead counsel, Yusuf Ali (SAN) and filed by the party’s legal adviser in the state, Mr. Kolapo Kolade, urged the Tribunal to strike out the case on the basis of non-joinder and mis-joinder of parties in the case.
Speaking, Kolade said “The APC is claiming that Fayose did not score the highest number of votes and that his election should be nullified and Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was not joined as a petitioner be declared winner. This is a case of non-joinder. Then, what is the reason behind the joining of the Chief of Defence Staff as a respondent in this case? Because Military did not partake in the electoral process and this is a clear case of mis-joinder.”
According to Kolade, some of the issues raised by the party, particularly the contention over the Higher National Diploma, HND Certificate paraded by Fayose, now being contested by APC in its petition, run contrary to the principle of estoppels.
Noting that controversy surrounding Fayose’s HND Certificate obtained from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State, had been trashed by Appeal Court, in the case of Alliance for Democracy, AD, versus Fayose in 2003, contending that the case had been gazetted in the Court records.
PDP equally described as mere academic exercise, APC’s claim that the election was rigged via what it termed ‘photo and thermo chromic’ electronic device, saying such “is unknown to electoral Law.”
APC had in its petition deposed to by its lead counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, (SAN) and filed by Akingbolu, had argued that Fayose was not qualified to stand for the election on the premises of his 2006 impeachment as the governor of the State and the fact that he allegedly paraded fake HND obtained from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State.
APC equally averred that the INEC allegedly rigged the election in favour of Fayose through electronic means.
The party is also contesting what it described as the alleged militarisation of the election, saying some of its members were allegedly traumatised by security agencies during the poll.