Ekiti Election: Fayemi files defence; to call 1,009 witnesses

Kayode Fayemi
Kayode Fayemi, Governor , Ekiti State

The Ekiti State governor-elect. Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday in Ado Ekiti, filed his defence before the Election Tribunal against the petition by the e candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Kolapo Olusola challenging his victory at the July 14 polls.

Mr Fayemi was declared winner of the election after scoring 197, 459 votes to defeat Mr Olusola, who scored 178, 223.

Mr Olusola, who is also the Ekiti Stste deputy governor, had earlier filed his petition, with the claims that he won the election and the he should be declared the rightful winner of the election.

The PDP candidate had accused the APC of using the federal might to muzzle opposition, while also accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of falsifying results in Mr Fayemi’s favour.

But Mr Fayemi, while countering the claims of his opponent, stated in his 2,558-page defence with over 3,000 documents as exhibits, declared that he won the gubernatorial election of July 14, 2018 and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition of Mr Olusola for lacking in merit.

Mr Fayemi’s legal team led by three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Hakeem Afolani, Yomi Aliyu and Kayode Olatoke, also would be calling 1,009 witnesses to brace their defence.

Mr Olatoke told journalists after the submitting the documents, that the petition field by the PDP candidate was a waste of time as it lacked substance and it was sure to be dismissed by the tribunal.

He said Mr Fayemi won in 12 out of the 16 local governments areas of the state, while Mr Olusola won in four of the States.

Mr Olatoke also dismissed the PDP claims of over voting in some polling units, describing them as frivolous and baseless.

He argued that Mr Olusola’s first ground in his petition was based on Mr Fayemi’s phantom indictment, which had been nullified and set aside by a competent court.

“The second ground of Eleka’s petition is alleged over voting, which is another false claim. In any case, the petition in itself is self defeating,” he said.

“The third ground is on deliberate voiding of votes as alleged by Eleka but in actual fact, majority of the voided ballots were votes meant for Fayemi, while the fourth ground is on vote buying which is baseless as it was, Eleka’s sponsor, Fayose that was guilty of this.

“Fayemi won convincingly based on his popularity.”

Other senior lawyers in the team representing Mr Fayemi and the APC are: Lateef Fagbemi, John Baiyeshea, Akin Olujimi, Jelili Owonikoko, and Segun Ajibola.

Hearing date is yet to be fixed.

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