The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the just concluded July 14 governorship election, Kolapo Olusola, has filed a petition at the governorship election tribunal against the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, claiming that he was actual winner of the election.
While filing the petition on Friday in Ado Ekiti, the deputy governor said he polled the highest number of lawful votes in the election.
The results as declared by INEC showed that governor-elect, Kayode Fayemi, scored 197,459 to defeat Mr Olusola, who polled a total of 178,121 votes.
Mr Fayemi had since received his certificate of return and would be sworn as governor on October 16, 2018 .
Mr Olusola, in company of his running mate, Kazeem Ogunsakin, submitted the petition at the Election Petition Tribunal sited within the premises of the Ekiti State High Court at about 5.15pm.
He said the governorship reign of Mr Fayemi would not last given the quality of evidence supporting his claims.
According to Mr Eleka, as the deputy governor is popularly called, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yusuf Ali, would head his legal team, among a retinue of counsel who would be representing him at the tribunal.
In the over 700- page petition addressed to the tribunal’s secretary, Mr Olusola urged the tribunal to declare him the winner of the election.
“I am challenging the election results not out of desperation to be governor, but for reasons of future and posterity, and largely on behalf of the people of Ekiti, who were taken aback by the outcome of the election,” he told journalists in Ado Ekiti, after filing the petition.
“Without doubt, the will of the people was subverted by those who have chosen to take Nigeria back to the dark days of ballot stuffing, ballot boxes snatching and outright falsification of election results and I believe they deserve to get justice.
“As law abiding citizens of our country, the only path of honour to take in a situation like this is the process that we have initiated today, to seek redress against the use of security forces and other instruments of the federal government to suppress the will of our people.
“Sadly, the desperation of the APC to take over all states in the country, especially those under governors like Dr. Ayodele Fayose perceived as uncompromising has destroyed all the gains made by the PDP government regarding free, fair and credible elections.
“The mood of Ekiti people when the beneficiary of the electoral robbery was declared winner and up till today is a pointer to the resolve of the people not to accept the subversion of their will and we have answered their calls to use the judiciary to get back their mandate.
“In doing this, we have presented overwhelming discrepancies in the results declared by INEC to the tribunal to adjudicate upon and I am confident that the popular mandate of the people of Ekiti will not go unrestored. I therefore want Ekiti people to keep hope alive, remain strong and resolute in their belief in God.”
A member of the legal team, Ola Olanipekun, shedding more light on the petition, said the petitioner had asked for an outright nullification of the election that produced Mr Fayemi and declare him the winner.
“By the time the hearing begins, we are going to prove cases of falsification of results, ballot snatching, ballot stuffing and use of powers to subvert the will of the people. By the time we do this, the whole world can judge who was the actual winner,” he said.
“We are confident that justice will be done in this case, we are sure that our client shall get justice.”
However, the Director General of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Council, Wole Olujobi, told PREMIUM TIMES that the PDP candidate had the right to seek redress at the tribunal, but added that the allegations raised by the PDP was spurious.
According to him, the PDP were the ones engaged in vote buying and not the APC.
“The PDP is alleging that there was vote buying, but there are evidences that the PDP used even the state government account to pay money into the accounts of workers, pensioners and others prior to the election to secure their votes,” said Mr Olujobi.
“So, I don’t know what they are contesting. A number of workers have prepared themselves to testify at the tribunal that they received money from the PDP for votes. So I wish them well at the tribunal.”