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EKITI: Tension as elections tribunal rules on SDP petition against Gov Oyebanji’s victory



Expectations are inevitably high as the elections tribunal in Ekiti State is set to rule on the petition filed by Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate, Segun Oni, following the election that produced Governor Biodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Governor in June.

SDP had filed a petition before the tribunal, urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare its candidate the winner having allegedly scored the highest number of valid votes.

Oni and SDP are the 1st and 2nd petitioners in the petition while Governor Biodun Oyebanji, the APC, Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, in his capacity as chairman, APC Caretaker Extraordinary Planning Convention/Committee, INEC and Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Monisade Afuye, are respondents.

The tribunal led by Justice Wilfred Kpochi, had on November 23 adjourned indefinitely for judgment after parties involved had adopted their final written addresses.

The tribunal later fixed Wednesday to deliver on the petition filed.

READ ALSO:Ekiti Assembly reinstates three suspended lawmakers

The SDP State Publicity Secretary, Ganiu Salau, on Tuesday, said, “Our expectation is very high based on the grounds of the demand we presented at the court ranging from the certificate issue against the deputy governor, Mrs Monisade Afuye, and faulty nomination process of Oyebanji and his deputy.

“We have had the two judgments to the level of Supreme Court on the grounds of our demands and our case will not be the exemption as precedence has been established.

However, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr Yinka Oyebode, said the ruling party had no cause for alarm.

“We are optimistic of victory. The reason is that the election that brought Oyebanji as the governor was overwhelming. The people voted massively for him. So, the mandate is genuine and was freely given through a free, fair, credible and rancour-free democratic process”, Oyebode said.

INEC had in June 19, 2022, declared APC’s Oyebanji the winner of the poll having won in 15 out of the 16 local government areas in the state with a total of 187,057 votes.

While Segun Oni of the SDP came second with 82,211 votes, PDP candidate, Chief Bisi Kolawole, emerged third with 67,457 votes.

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