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Tribunal Sacks Senate Spokesman, APC’s Adeyeye, Declares PDP, Olujimi Winner In Ekiti

Tribunal Sacks Senate Spokesman, Adeyeye, Declares Olujimi Winner in Ekiti

National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti,
Ekiti State has nullified the election of Senator Dayo Adeyeye as the
winner of the National Assembly election in Ekiti South Senatorial

Subsequently, the tribunal in a unanimous verdict,
declared former Minority Leader and the candidate of the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Biodun Olujimi, winner of the senatorial

Following the declaration of Adeyeye, the candidate of the
All Progressives Congress (APC), winner by the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC) in the February 23, 2019 senatorial election
in Ekiti South senatorial district, the candidate of the PDP, Senator
Olujimi, had approached the tribunal praving that she should be declared
the actual winner of the election .

She submitted that she scored the highest number of lawful votes cast during the keenly contested poll.

the alternative, Olujimi prayed the tribunal for the outright
nullification of Adeyeye’s victory and order supplementary election
accordingly in the district.

In her written address, the
petitioner claimed that the election was not conducted in substantial
compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, having been
allegedly fraught with all manners of irregularities.

She prayed
the tribunal to annul votes in areas that were found to be incredibly
marked with irregularities like over voting, multiple thump printing,
ballot snatching, ballot stuffing and improper ballot counting to know
the actual winner of the poll.

The petitioner also accused INEC
of dereliction of duties, saying most of the documents used for the
conduct of the election were not duly signed by agents.

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the respondents countered the submission, saying INEC did what was
right and constitutional, by declaring the candidate of the APC the
winner having found him to have got the highest number of lawful votes.

the judgment, the three-man tribunal, led by Justice D.D. Adeck,
nullified elections in some polling units to declare Olujimi the
authentic winner of the polls.

Eventually, Olujimi polled a total
of 54,894 to emerge victorious over the Senate Committee Chairman on
Media and Publicity, who polled 52,243.

Justice Adeck added that
apart from the nullification in some units, the outcome of the
tribunal’s verdict was predicated on the recount of the ballots by the
contending forces as granted by the court.

Justice Adeck said for
the petitioner to be so declared, she must prove those cases of
criminal allegations of non-compliance with the provisions of the
Electoral Act and other corrupt practices raised in her petition beyond
reasonable doubt which he said she did.

The tribunal said in
Ikere, Gbonyin and Emure Local Governments, the petitioner was able to
prove cases of over voting and votes in those units were expunged from
the ballot.

On the voting patterns, the tribunal said: “It is not
tenable to say that marked ballots were not properly deposited in the
boxes because when this did not happen, then it will lead to over voting
and will affect counting at every level of collation.

“To avoid
this pitfall, those elections must be expunged in order not to vitiate
the electoral process. Therefore, after those votes were deducted, PDP
was left with 54,894, while the respondent polled 52,243.

“The petitioner having polled the highest number of lawful votes should be declared the winner of the election.

“We hereby declare the petitioner the winner and she is hereby returned elected.

hereby direct the INEC to withdraw the certificate of return from the
respondent and issue same to the petitioner”, he said .

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Last Updated: September 11, 2019

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