The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday closed his defence at the Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which sits at the premises of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Apo, Abuja.
The tribunal, led by Justice Suleiman Belgore, has however adjourned sitting until January 9, 2019 for adoption of final written addresses of parties in the petition filed by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Kolapo Olusola.
Mr Olusola is challenging the outcome of the July 14 governorship election which saw Mr Fayemi emerge as the winner of the election.
He had alleged that Mr Fayemi’s victory was as a result of vote buying, wide spread rigging, malpractices and that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials favoured the governor during the election.
He prayed the tribunal to declare him as the winner of the election on the grounds that he scored majority of the lawful votes cast as the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, APC and Mr Fayemi are the respondents in the petition.
At the hearing on Thursday, the counsel to Mr Fayemi, Lateef Fagbemi, informed the three-member tribunal that the third respondent was closing his case.
He said having reviewed the case, the third respondent found it unnecessary to call other witnesses to prove his case.
The Fayemi team called four witnesses, including Adumo Rufus Sunday, who was the deputy director-general of JKF Campaign Organisation, to testify for him before the tribunal, but did not tender any exhibits.
Meanwhile, following the closure of the third respondent’s defence, parties agreed that the three respondents shall have three days to file their respective final written addresses, while petitioners shall have five days to file theirs. It was further agreed that the respondents shall have another three days to reply on point of law.
While adjourning the sitting, Mr Belgore expressed appreciation to all parties involved in the petition for their cooperation.
The petitioner had earlier in November, closed their case before the tribunal, paving the way for the respondents to begin their defence.
He called 71 witnesses, among whom were Sunday Olowolafe, PDP legal adviser in Ekiti State; the state collation agent, and polling unit agents.