Wednesday, December 17, 2014 6:20 pm
Nnamdi Felix/ Abuja
The Ekiti state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja and led by Justice Siraju Mohammed, on Wednesday fixed Friday 19 December to deliver judgment in the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, against the outcome of the 21 June governorship election in the state.
The panel chose the date after the lawyers representing parties to the case adopted their final written addresses.
The respondents to the petition are the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Governor Ayo Fayose, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police.
Counsel to the petitioner, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, a senior advocate of Nigeria, reminded the tribunal that the petition was predicated on the contention that Fayose was not qualified to contest the election and urged the tribunal to allow the petition and dismiss the responses by the five respondents.
On their part, the respondents’ lawyers, including Yusuf Ali, Onyechi Ikpeazu, both senior advocates of Nigeria, alongside Mr. Abayomi Sadiku and Abdulkadir Ajana, all contended that the petitioner had failed to prove its case.
They argued that the petitioner was unable to provide cogent evidence to support its petition and therefore urged the tribunal to dismiss it.
The APC in the petition had urged the tribunal to unravel the hidden facts surrounding the election and the emergence of the PDP candidate as the winner of the election and contended that the election was more of a mechanical exercise than conventional casting of votes.
It alleged that the election was manipulated to favour of the PDP candidate. It also said the poll was unduly militarised and cited the impeachment of Fayose in 2006 as conditions that made the candidacy of Fayose invalid.
The APC also told the court that a corruption case instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is still hanging on Fayose.
The APC contended that Fayose was not qualified in the first place to participate in the election exercise and faulted the conduct of the June 21 election..