THE candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni has filed a 1,095-page petition before the Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal, saying the decision was not borne out of enmity.
Oni said he was challenging the election outcome at the tribunal in view of the fact that he allegedly defeated the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Biodun Oyebanji, who was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC had said Oyebanji of the APC won the election having polled 187,057 votes against Oni of the SDP who scored 82,209 votes to come second among the 16 candidates that participated in the election. Commenting on the petition, Oni said he had always believed that election should be decided by the people, adding, “this is not borne out if enmity, but to sanitise the system and give power to the people to elect their representatives.”
The former governor who spoke to newsman at the tribunal shortly after his legal team submitted the petition in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital said, “I’m here to submit my petition in accordance with the law and we are doing this to defend the sanctity of the system. I am challenging the election result because I believe that I won.”
The lead counsel of the petitioner, Obafemi Adewale, SAN, who said there was more to the election, added, “If my client had believed the governorship election was free, fair, and credible, he would not have challenged the outcome.”
Adewale said that his client also believed that “the person declared by INEC as the winner did not win with lawful votes.”
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the election, Bisi Kolawole who came third in the poll, has declared support for the governor-elect, saying he did this in the interest of Ekiti populace. Speaking on Friday when he received Oyebanji at his Ado- Ekiti residence, Kolawole said the fact he contested against Oyebanji in the election notwithstanding, he had no reason to become an enemy of the actual winner.
He said, “Until June 18, we were candidates of two different parties but one of us, another respected Ekiti man won the election. In the interest of the state and our people, we must all rally round him, offer necessary advice and move Ekiti forward. “It is my pleasure having you here. I am happy that you are being magnanimous in victory. It is only God that appoints a king and gives victory to whom he wishes.