Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Kayode Fayemi Campaign Council saturday described an election petition filled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola in the just concluded governorship contest as an exercise in futility.
The Deputy Director General of the council, Hon. Bamidele Faparusi said this in a statement Saturday, appealing to the party members in the state “to be peaceful and see the present legal challenge as one that will not yield any fruitful result.”
Olusola, Ekiti State Deputy Governor, had dragged the governor-elect before the Election Petition Tribunal, asking it the tribunal to declare him winner of the poll and claiming that he scored the highest number of lawful votes cast.
He had also urged the tribunal to set aside the victory of Fayemi, who was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In the contest, Fayemi polled 197, 459 to defeat Olusola, who got 178, 121 votes.
Olusola submitted a 700-page petition at the tribunal registry within the State High Court premises at about 5.30 pm. The statutory 21-day grace allowed by the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) to file a petition by any candidate aggrieved with the outcome expired on Friday.
In a statement he issued yesterday, Faparusi said the election reflected the will of Ekiti people and that not even the petition filed by Olusola or any other party can upturn the verdict.
He added that the party would assemble highly experienced legal team that would confront the PDP and its candidate and prevent them from getting victory through the back door.
He described the election as the best in Ekiti since the advent of democracy in 1999, saying the allegations of ballot stuffing and snatching, falsification of results and brazen abuse of powers by APC to win the election only existed in the demented imagination of the PDP as a political party.
He said: “Olusola asking that he be declared winner of an election he lost was a tall dream that won’t be realized. The whole world could attest to the credibility of the election.
“Several credible observer groups with the exception of those sponsored by Governor Ayodele Fayose had given the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a thumb up over its transparency in the conduct of the election.
“The European Union (EU) and other global bodies that monitored the governorship election praised the electoral commission for doing a great job. Since 1999, this election stood out to be the most keenly contested with the winner defeating the loser with a marginal edge of 19, 338 votes.
“This confirmed and substantiated how transparent INEC had been in the conduct of this election. No election can be deemed to have been perfect, but substantially, the exercise could be adjudged to have been conducted in line with the 1999 constitution and the dictate of the Electoral Act.
“If one dissects the trends of the winning across the 16 local governments, the two parties were having marginal edge ahead of others, but eventually APC won in 12 local governments and PDP won four.
“If the PDP could be bold to tag an election where the winner won 12 councils and loser four, what would the people call the June 21, 2014 governorship election, where Fayose defeated Fayemi in all the 16 local governments?
“No one can abridge Olusola’s rights to seek redress in court, this steps remains the most civilized and recognized resort in electioneering process, but we in the APC are confident that it is going to be a futile efforts, because Fayemi got the mandate through credible means.”