Appeal Court Affirms Fayemi’s Election Victory

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Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi has been declared winner of the Governorship Election held last yea by the Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Fayemi wnner having polled a total of 197,459 votes to defeat Olusola, who scored 178, 022 votes.

The Tribunal had, in a unanimous judgment by a three-man panel of Justices held in a judgment delivered on 28th January, 2019 that, there was no merit in the petition of the PDP, and its governorship candidate in the election and consequently dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging Fayemi’s victory.

The Tribunal maintained that the petitioners failed to by way of credible evidence, prove that the election was marred by irregularities as they alleged.
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Suleiman Belgore, who read the judgment held that, both PDP and its candidate were unable to substantiate their claim that the governorship election in many polling units were characterized by lack of accreditation, over-voting, mutilation of results, inacurate ballot account, snatching of election materials, inducement of voters, irreconcilable figures and cancellation of results at polling units where they secured highest number of votes.

Belgore held that, “scanty evidence” the petitioners laid before the tribunal was not sufficient to invalidate the votes credited to the APC.
He also held that in the absence of credible evidence substantiated with pleadings, all the allegations raised by the petitioners were therefore deemed abandoned.
“Evidence of facts not pleaded goes to nothing”, the tribunal’s Chairman held, adding that, the results announced by INEC with respect to the Ekiti state governorship election, would continue to enjoy the presumption of regularity, until such presumption is displaced with credible evidence.

“On the whole, we hold that the petitioners failed to prove the allegations on the balance of probability. In fact, oral evidence of some of the witnesses called by the petitioners strengthened the case of the Respondents.
“It is clear that the irregularities claimed in the petition cannot be sustained. We found no reason to disturb the results”’ the tribunal held.

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