The Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the victory of Kayode Fayemi as the lawfully elected governor of the state.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Prof Kolapo Olusola, in the July 14, 2018 election had challenged the declaration of Fayemi as the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

However, the tribunal’s three-man panel in its unanimous judgment read by Justice Sulaiman Belgore held that the various allegations raised against the election conducted by the INEC were not proven as required by law.

The tribunal dismissed the claims by the petitioners that Fayemi at the time of the election, was not qualified to stand for governorship election on the ground of his alleged indictment by the Justice Oyewole Commission of Inquiry.

The judge held that Section 182 of the 1999 Constitution relied upon by the petitioners to get the APC candidate disqualified had been deleted by the alteration done to the constitution on July 16, 2010 by the National Assembly when the alteration took effect.

In all, the tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove that they scored higher number of votes in the election and that they also failed to prove that Fayemi was not validly returned as the winner.

The tribunal held that it was established beyond reasonable doubt that the APC candidate in the election scored 197,459 votes as against the 178,121 votes by Olusola to emerge winner of the poll.

The tribunal also held that there was no evidence that the agents of the petitioners were forced to sign the result sheets which they did on the Election Day.

Justice Belgore, therefore, agreed that Fayemi was lawfully returned and that the petition against him failed because it lacked merit and was therefore dismissed in its entirety.