The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State, Prof Kolapo Olusola, yesterday filed a petition at the governorship election tribunal against the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), insisting that he was the actual winner of the election.
According to the results declared by INEC, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, polled a total of 197, 459 to defeat Olusola, who garnered 178, 121 votes.
Consequently, Fayemi was declared winner and had since received his Certificate of Return from INEC.
Olusola, in company with his Deputy, Mr. Kazeem Ogunsakin, filed the petition against the results at the Election Petition Tribunal located within the premises of the Ekiti State High Court at about 5.15pm yesterday.
Briefing journalists shortly after submitting the over 700 page petition to the Tribunal Secretary, Olusola said a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mallam Yusuf Ali, would lead the legal team that would handle the matter.
He said: “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.
“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.
“While we go through this judicial walk to exposing the electoral thievery of July 14, 2018, we urge the good people of Ekiti State, especially my teeming supporters to remain calm, peaceful and prayerful, bearing in mind that those who stole their mandate will not enjoy the benefits for long.
“I also want to use this opportunity to condemn the indefinite closure of the state’s radio and television stations. No doubt, the closure of the radio and television stations was part of the grand plan to sustain the inglorious use of naked force to rob Ekiti people of their democratic rights, but the people will triumph ultimately.”
A member of the legal team, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), said what the petitioner was asking for is outright nullification of the election that produced Fayemi and to be declared the winner of the poll.
“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.
“We are confident that justice will be done in this case, we are sure that our client shall get justice”, he asserted.