Massive Jubilation As Ekiti State Governor-Elect, Kayode Fayemi, Receives The Best News Against The Governor Ayodele Fayose-led PDP

By Post-Nigeria: September 30, 2018 09:37

Massive Jubilation As Ekiti State Governor-Elect, Kayode Fayemi, Receives The Best News Against The Governor Ayodele Fayose-led PDP

The Ekiti State Governorship Election Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, has dismissed an application by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the recount of ballot papers used in the July 14 Governorship poll.

Recall, that the PDP and its candidate, Professor Olusola Kolapo, are challenging the outcome of the election in court.

The respondents in the matter are: the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the winner of the election.

Ruling on the application, the Chairman of the three-member Tribunal, Justice Bolaji Belgore, declared that the application lacked merit.

Belgore noted that Ekiti State has 177 Wards with 2,197 polling units in 16 Local Government Areas, but the petitioners only complained of 325 polling units in their petition before the Tribunal.

The Chairman, stated that the PDP and its candidate, did not complain about all the 2,197 polling units in the State.

“To pray for recount in all wards and polling units across the State, is to make firm nonsense of the petitioners’ pleading”, Belgore said.

According to him, pleadings are written statements of parties in a procedure wherein they clearly state the materials, including documents, they will rely on in the proceeding.

He stated that the Tribunal could only admit where it was supported by pleadings, adding that, what the petitioners wanted, could not be situated in their pleadings before the Tribunal.

The Chairman further pointed out that the evidence so generated from the recount, would have no basis in the proceedings.

He added that what the petitioners wanted to do, was to spring a surprise on the respondents, which they would not be able to respond to, as time for pleadings had closed.

He stated that the Tribunal was in agreement with the submission of the Counsel for Fayemi, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), that the petitioners were fishing for evidence under the guise of recounting the ballot.

Ruling on the application argued by Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu for INEC, Belgore said that excluding the card readers from inspection, would be tantamount to setting aside the Tribunal’s early order, granted on July 26.

The Tribunal, however, made a consequential order, that the inspection of the card readers must be completed by the end of each party’s case, which would commence on October 17.

The Chairman declared that the consequential order was not setting aside the exparte order, granted on July 26.

The Tribunal thereafter, adjourned the commencement of hearing in the petition until October 17.

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