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Ekiti Gov Dispute: Tribunal adjourns for judgment

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By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA – The Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, adjourned to deliver judgment in the petition challenging the declaration of Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as winner of the governorship poll that held in the state on July 14, 2018.

The three-man panel Tribunal headed by Justice Suleiman Belgore adjourned the case indefinitely, after all the parties adopted their final written addresses.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the petition marked EPT/BKS/GOV/01/18, which was lodged by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate in the election, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, were the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the APC and Fayemi.

Specifically, the petitioners, are praying the tribunal to sack Fayemi on the premise that the election was not only flawed, but was conducted without substantial compliance to the Electoral Act.

They further alleged that Fayemi was not qualified to participate in the contest, having been earlier indicted in a report by a commission of inquiry that was constituted by the Ekiti State Government to probe his first term in office as governor.

Olusola, through his lawyer Mr. Yusuf Alli, SAN, sought to be declared governor, having secured the highest number of validly cast votes.

However, counsel to the Respondents, Chief Charles Edosomwan, SAN, Akin Olujinmi, SAN, and Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition which they argued was grossly incompetent.

The Respondents, aside contending that the petitioners failed to prove their allegation that the election was marred by irregularities, further drew attention of the tribunal that the said report that indicted Fayemi had since been quashed by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Ekiti election free, fair – INEC witnesses tell tribunal

They insisted that the petitioners failed to discharge the burden of prove placed on them by the law, adding that various portions of the petition were vague.

However, counsel to the petitioners maintained that his client successfully established that Fayemi ought not have been declared as the bonafide winner of the electoral contest.

After they had listened to all the parties, the Justice Belgore led panel said it would within 48 hours, notify the parties of the date for judgement.

It will be recalled that whereas the PDP candidate called a total of 71 witnesses that testified before the tribunal, Fayemi closed his defence after he produced four witnesses that testified on his behalf.

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