Ekiti tribunal reserves judgment on Olujimi/Adeyeye petition

The Ekiti State Elections Petitions Tribunal on Wednesday reserved judgment on the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party senatorial candidate, Senator Biodun Olujimi, challenging the election of the All Progressives Congress candidate, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, in the Ekiti South Senatorial District.

 Following the adoption of the written addresses of the two sides in the case, the three-member tribunal, led by Justice D.D. Adeck, adjourned the matter for judgment till a date to be communicated to the parties through the registry of the tribunal.

 Olujimi and the PDP, represented by Prof. Wahab Egbewole (SAN), are, in the petition, praying the tribunal to declare the PDP candidate winner of the 2019 Ekiti South senatorial election held on February 23, 2019,  “having scored the highest number of lawful votes in the election.”

Among others, Olujimi and the PDP want the court to declare the election and the return of Adeyeye as the winner of the election as invalid “by reasons of substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the Regulation and Guidelines for the conduct of elections and the Manual for Election Officials 2019.”

Olujimi and the PDP claimed they had proved their case based on the balance of probability and weight of evidence adduced during the hearing of the petition, arguing that the said election was marred with irregularities, contrary to the dictates of electoral laws.

But Adeyeye, though his counsel, Chief Rafiu Balogun, urged the tribunal to strike out Olujimi’s petition for lacking merit, saying “the fact that the petitioner failed to establish cases on non-compliance and criminal conducts during the poll and how it affected the outcome of the election, had rendered it incompetent.”

 Balogun said, “If you read through the petition, it consists of criminal and civil allegations because she (Olujimi) said INEC subtracted her votes while also proving non-compliance.

“The  failure to sever the  criminal allegation from the civil, through a motion, rendered it invalid.

“In summary, the petitioners failed to prove the myriad of criminal and non-compliance allegations as required by law. They failed woefully to prove these and the petition should be struck out on this basis.”
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