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Olusola asks Ekiti election tribunal to declare him winner of July 14 election

By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado Ekiti
04 August 2018   |   4:06 am
The Deputy Governor of Ekiti State and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 14 governorship election, Prof Kolapo Olusola, yesterday...

PDP candidate Olusola Eleka. Photo Timothy Adeogodiran/NAN

The Deputy Governor of Ekiti State and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 14 governorship election, Prof Kolapo Olusola, yesterday, urged the Ekiti Election Petition Tribunal to declare him winner of the election.

Section 134 (1) of the Electoral Act stimulates that an election petition shall be filed within 21 days after the date of the declaration of results of the election. Yesterday marked the last day allowed for filing of the petition.

Olusola, who stated this after filling about 700 pages petition at the tribunal, said the election was openly manipulated by the All Progressives Congress (APC), using instrumentalities of federal might.

The PDP candidate, who came to the court about 5.45pm, was accompanied by his running mate, Deji Ogunsakin, some of his legal team, led by Ola Olanipekun (SAN) and some members of his party, said: “Today, I formally filed the much-expected petition against the results of the July 14, 2018 governorship election, which was openly manipulated by political desperadoes, using instruments of the federal government.

“Like I have maintained, I am challenging the election results, not out of desperation to be governor, but for reasons of future and posterity and largely on behalf of the people of Ekiti, who were taken aback by the outcome of the election.

“Without doubt, the will of the people was subverted by those who have chosen to take Nigeria back to the dark days of ballot stuffing, ballot boxes snatching and outright falsification of election results, and I believe they deserve to get justice.

“As law-abiding citizens of our country, the only path of honour to take in a situation like this is the process that we have initiated today, to seek redress against the use of security forces and other instruments of the federal government to suppress the will of our people.

“Sadly, the desperation of the APC to take over all states in the country, especially those under governors, like Dr. Ayodele Fayose, perceived as uncompromising, has destroyed all the gains made by the PDP government regarding free, fair and credible elections.

“The mood of Ekiti people when the beneficiary of the electoral robbery was declared winner and up till today is a pointer to the resolve of the people not to accept the subversion of their will, and we have answered their calls to use the judiciary to get back their mandate.

“In doing this, we have presented overwhelming discrepancies in the results declared by INEC to the tribunal to adjudicate upon, and I am confident that the popular mandate of the people of Ekiti will not go unrestored. I, therefore, want Ekiti people to keep hope alive, remain strong and resolute in their belief in God.”

He added: “While we go through this judicial walk to exposing the electoral thievery of July 14, 2018, we urge the good people of Ekiti State, especially my teeming supporters, to remain calm, peaceful and prayerful, bearing in mind that those who stole their mandate will not enjoy the benefits for long.

“I also want to use this opportunity to condemn the indefinite closure of the state radio and television stations. No doubt, the closure of the radio and television stations was part of the grand plan to sustain the inglorious use of naked force to rob Ekiti people of their democratic rights.”

But the people will triumph ultimately.”

Also speaking, Olanipekun said the petition was filed on grounds of falsification of result, ballot snatching and stuffing and use of the federal might.

He alleged his client won the majority of the valid and lawful votes cast on July 14 governorship election, asking that he should be so declared.