Kayode Fayemi, governor-elect of Ekiti, has filed his defense against the petition challenging his victory in the state’s governorship election.
Kolapo Olusola, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, had asked the election tribunal to declare him winner of the July 14 poll.
Olusola, incumbent deputy governor of the state, alleged that the figures announced in favour of Fayemi and his party — the All Progressives Congress (APC) — differ from the actual figures from the polling unit.
But in his defense filed on Wednesday, Fayemi, who has 1009 witnesses, asked the tribunal to dismiss Olusola’s application on the ground of “lacking in merit”.
NAN reports that eight senior advocates of Nigeria (SANs) are among 35 lawyers in Fayemi’s defense team.
Deposing over 3,000 documents as exhibits, Fayemi argued that he won the gubernatorial election on merit, contrary to Olusola’s claims.
Addressing journalists after filing the defense, Kayode Olatoke, who spoke on behalf of Fayemi’s legal team, said Eleka’s petition was a “waste of time” as it lacked substance.
He said Fayemi won “fair and square” in 12 out of the 16 local government areas of the state, while Eleka won in only four.
He said Eleka’s first ground in his petition was based on Ayo Fayose’s alleged indictment via a government white paper, which he said had since been nullified and set aside by a competent court.
“The second ground of Eleka’s petition is alleged over voting, which is another false claim. In any case, the petition in itself is self-defeating,” he said.
“The third ground is on deliberate voiding of votes as alleged by Eleka but in actual fact, majority of the voided ballots were votes meant for Fayemi, while the fourth ground is on vote buying which is baseless as it was, Eleka’s sponsor, Fayose, that was guilty of this.
“Fayemi won convincingly based on his popularity.”
No date has been fixed for hearing of the case.