Ekiti Governorship Petition Tribunal Finally Moved To Abuja

The Ekiti governorship election petition tribunal will continue its sitting in Abuja.

The decision to relocate the tribunal from Ekiti state followed a request made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the panel.

When pre-hearing sitting commenced on Monday, Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), counsel to the PDP, had asked the panel to move the tribunal from the state high court to Abuja, citing security concerns.

“My lord, on our way to the tribunal, we were accosted by some crowds with sticks. We were on a spot for several minutes until a senior police officer came to us,” he had said.

“We have to be safe first, in life, safety comes first, we are professionals and we move around to do out job. Sir, we hereby request that this sitting should be shifted to another venue, probably Abuja because of safety.”

The three-man tribunal chaired by Suleiman Belgore granted the application but didn’t disclose the new venue.

“So on this, there is merit to this application, and it has been granted. The new venue and date will be communicated to all counsels within 48 hours,” Belgore said.

Speaking on Wednesday, a counsel to one of the parties involved confirmed Abuja as the new venue.

READ ALSO: Suspected Kidnappers Abduct Driver, 10 Others In Ekiti

According to the source who preferred to remain anonymous, the tribunal will commence sitting on Monday, September 24, at the Akpo high court judicial division, Abuja.

Following the July 14 governorship election, the PDP had rejected the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Kayode Fayemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared the winner of the poll, beating PDP’s Kolapo Olusola.

In its petition, the PDP had alleged, among other things, that the election was marred by widespread electoral malpractices and disenfranchisement of its supporters.

Professor Kolapo Olusola Eleka, the candidate of the PDP in the July 14 Ekiti State governorship election, filed a 700-page petition before the Election Tribunal, then sitting in Ado, to challenge the victory awarded to Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Fayemi had polled a total of 197, 459 votes while Eleka had 178,121 votes, the margin is 19, 338.

But Eleka told the tribunal that Fayemi “stole his mandate”, hence his decision to file the petition. He explained that the petition filed before the tribunal contained “empirical evidence” showing that figures were falsified in favour of Fayemi.

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