Opponent congratulates winner but insists he was robbed
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Governor Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has again defeated his rival, Kolapo Olusola of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the apex court in Nigeria on Friday upheld his victory at the 2018 Ekiti State governorship election.
However, former deputy governor of Ekiti State and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the last governorship election, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, has congratulated Governor Kayode Fayemi on his victory at the Supreme Court but insisted the poll was rigged.
The five-man panel of the Supreme Court which heard the appeal of the PDP against the outcome of the 2018 governorship election upheld Fayemi’s election, after it dismissed the appeal of the PDP’s candidate for lacking merit.
The judgment of the five-man panel presided over by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, was read by Justice John Okoro.
The apex court affirmed the judgments of both the Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal and the
Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which had both dismissed the petition challenging the outcome of the July 2018 Ekiti State governorship election.
“I am satisfied to hold that there is no merit in this appeal. It has to be noted that the two courts had dismissed the appeal. This court is therefore hesitant to intervene with the concurrent findings of the lower court and the tribunal.
“The court can only intervene in concurrent judgments if there is clear case of miscarriage of justice. In the instant appeal, there is no such evidence that the findings occasioned a miscarriage of justice,’ Justice Okoro held.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Fayemi and the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner, having polled a total of 197,459 votes to defeat Olusola-Eleka and the PDP who came second with 178,121 votes in the July 14, 2018 election.
Dissatisfied with the outcome, PDP and Olusola-Eleka had filed their petition before the Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal which sat and delivered its judgment in Abuja.
The petitioners alleged among others in their petition that the election was marred by a lot of wrongs including non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
But the tribunal on January 28, 2019 dismissed their petition and affirmed the results declared by INEC.
The petitioners further appealed to the Court of Appeal, raising seven issues against the judgment of the tribunal.
But delivering judgment, Justice Stephen Adah who led the three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, resolved all the seven issues raised against the appellants in favour of Fayemi, INEC and APC, who were respondents in the petition.
Justice Adah dismissed the case for lacking in merit, a decision the two other members of the panel, Justices Tinuade Akomolafe, Wilson and
Emmanuel Agim, consented to.
In their further appeal to the Supreme Court, the PDP and Olusola-Eleka, urged the apex court through their lawyer, Yusuf Ali (SAN), to upturn the lower court’s judgment.
Olusola who said his own brand of politics was without bitterness but of development and service, called on all PDP members in the state to put the pain behind them and unite to move the party forward.
While thanking Ekiti people for standing by him all through the court cases, Olusola restated, “my consolation at this time is that the people of Ekiti, as well as Fayemi and the APC knew I was robbed and God being God, the true story shall be told someday by those who orchestrated the theft.
“The least expectations of Ekiti people from Fayemi and APC now is that they should reduce the people’s pains by governing well so the people do not suffer double loss having now lost their mandate freely given.
“I urge Ekiti people to maintain peace and keep hope alive, adding that everyone including himself will cooperate to move Ekiti forward as the state is greater than any individual.”
Olusola stated further, “I am committed to Ekiti, I am going nowhere but will work side-by-side with my people until Ekiti is delivered from clutches of mindless and heartless vampires and election riggers.
“I call to all true lovers of Ekiti that time for a broad coalition to free Ekiti from those mortgaging its interests and destinies to outside forces has come. I am prepared to play my part and together we shall win. Awolowo once said “after darkness comes glorious dawn.”
The former deputy governor was also full of praises for his boss, the former governor of the state, Chief Ayodele Fayose and as well all members and leaders of the PDP at the state, zonal and national levels for the unflinching support they gave him.
Olusola who again lost to the APC candidate in today’s ruling over an appeal filed by him said, “though we lost at the Supreme Court, this has not diminished our confidence in the judiciary as the last hope of the ordinary citizens out there.
“Again I urge the good people of Ekiti to remain committed to the development of the state and trust in God for better days ahead.
“I congratulate Governor Kayode Fayemi over his election as chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum and I wish him success.”