Monday, 14 July 2014

APC challenges outcome of Ekiti election in court

Three weeks after Gov­ernor Kayode Fayemi accepted defeat in Ekiti State governor­ship election, the state chap­ter of his party, All Progres­sives Congress (APC), has filed a petition before the Governorship Election Peti­tions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti, challenging results of the June 21 poll.

The interim Chairman of the APC in Ekiti, Chief Jide Awe, told journalists yesterday that he submitted the petition on behalf of the party to the tribu­nal last Saturday since the law allowed the tribunal to operate during weekends.
Recall that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Demo­cratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ayodele Fayose, was declared winner of the governorship election, described as one of the most peaceful, free and fair in na­tion’s recent political history.
Fayemi, who had expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday, June 21, while the election was going on, had also congratulated the winner of the election on Sunday evening, saying if that was what Ekiti people wanted, he would abide by their wishes.
But Awe said the petition filed by the party was not at variance with the earlier posi­tion of Governor Fayemi, who accepted defeat and congratu­lated Fayose of
PDP, who was declared winner by INEC.
“The governor does not own the party, it is the party that owns the governor, and so, the party can decide for him. You will observe that there is no name of Dr. Kayode Fayemi on the ballot paper, what were contained on it were the name of the party and its logo. So, the issue is beyond the governor,” he declared.
According to Awe, the peti­tion sought the assistance of the tribunal to unravel the hidden facts surrounding the election, saying the poll was more of a mechanical exercise than con­ventional casting of votes.
“The results of the election were embarrassing to us as a party and we hold the view that there is no smoke without fire,” he said.
He said the party did not want to take laws into its own hands nor resort to self-helps, hence its decision to toe a con­stitutional and peaceful line of seeking redress in court.

“Let it be known to you that our candidate, Dr. Fayemi only conceded victory to guarantee peace that was prevalent in the state at the time as well as allow the siege laid on the state by the military to cease.
“You can see that as soon as he announced that he had ac­cepted defeat, the soldiers im­mediately vacated the state,” he said.

On details of the grouse contained in the petition, Awe disclosed that their complaints centred on alleged manipula­tion, undue militarisation, im­peachment as well as the Eco­nomic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) cases hanging on the governor-elect.

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