The Ekiti State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti today December 29, upheld the victory of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Biodun Oyebanji, in the June governorship election in the state.
The three-man tribunal chaired by Justice Wilfred Kpochi ruled that the allegations of election rigging, vote trading and procedural violations raised by the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Segun Oni were vague and lacked merit.
The tribunal also struck out the request for the disqualification of the deputy governorship candidate of the APC for alleged certificate forgery, saying the issue was not brought up within the expected 21 days period legally allowed, and that raising new facts and pleas midway would amount to a breach of injunctions.
The tribunal also said the argument that the signing of Oyebanji’s nomination form by Yobe State Governor who acted as the National Chairman of the APC, Mai Mala Buni is immaterial since the candidate and his running mate were validly elected at the party’s primary.
Oyebanji had polled a total of 187,057 votes to defeat his two closest challengers – Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bisi Kolawole of the People’s Democratic Party. The SDP emerged in second place with total votes of 82,211 while the PDP was third with 67,457 votes.