Dissatisfied with the conduct of the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend filed a petition at the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti, seeking the invalidation of the results of the election.
The ex-governor of the state and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ayodele Fayose, had defeated the incumbent governor and APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, in all the 16 local governments to emerge victorious in the tension-soaked poll.
While revealing what informed the petition despite that the poll had been adjudged the most transparent in recent times, the interim Chairman of the state chapter of the party, Chief Jide Awe, disclosed to journalists yesterday that he submitted the petition on behalf of the party to the tribunal on Saturday, since the law allows the tribunal to also operate during weekends.
Awe said: “The petition sought the assistance of the tribunal to unravel the hidden fact surrounding the election, because, to us the poll was more of a mechanical exercise than conventional casting of votes.”
The state chapter of the PDP, has described the decision of the APC to challenge the outcome of the governorship election at the tribunal as shadow chasing.
The PDP chairman in the state, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, who reacted to the development during a telephone chat in Ado-Ekiti, said: “The APC is going there to chase shadows.”
Ogundipe said further that he was “not surprised because I knew that the APC would look for what to do to and by all means too to remain in the news following their crushing at the election by the Ekiti people.”
The PDP chieftain posited that it would be interesting to see what they have this time against an election that was widely acclaimed as credible, free and fair, adding that the people of the state, who voted massively “for the candidate of our party, Fayose, would laugh at the mockery the APC is surely out to make of itself at the tribunal.
The APC leader, who explained the grounds of the petition, disclosed that it centred majorly on the alleged manipulations, undue militarisation, impeachment, as well as the corruption charges hanging on the governor-elect.
He claimed that Fayose was not qualified in the first place to participate in the election, aside from the process of the poll’s conduct which he claimed was faulty.
He said the APC as a party that love peace and would not want to truncate the peace being enjoyed in the state, the party had resolved not to take laws into its hands nor resort to self-helps, hence its decision to toe constitutional and peaceful line of seeking redress in the open court. “The results of the election were embarrassing to us as a party and we hold the view that there is no smoke without fire.”
He clarified that the petition filed by the party was not at variance with the earlier position of the governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi who accepted defeat and congratulated Mr. Ayo Fayose of PDP who was declared winner by INEC.
“The governor does not own the party, it is the party that owns the governor, and so the party can decide for him.
“You will observe that there is no name of Fayemi on the ballot papers, what was the contained on it was name of the party and its logo, so the issue is beyond the governor.”
The chairman added further that “Our candidate, Fayemi only conceded victory to guarantee continued peace that was prevalent in the state at the time as well as allow the siege laid on the state by the military to cease.
“You can see that as soon as he announced that he had accepted defeat, the soldiers immediately vacated the state,” he said.
The PDP, which further reacted said, “It is either out mischief or their usual deliberate deception of the people that has made them to act in feigned ignorance of extant court judgements on the issues they took to the tribunal as grounds to challenge the election.
“If not for routine academic exercise or a ploy to remain in the news for the sake of its propagandist ideals, we wonder why the APC has been the only component of the election that has seen or heard what all the other stakeholders in the entire process, including the good people of Ekiti State, have not seen or heard. But we are ready for their mischief and deceit,” he concluded.