The governor-elect of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday filed his defence to the petition by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the outgoing Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Professor Kolapo Olusola, challenging his election in the July 14 gubernatorial poll in Ekiti State.
Leading Fayemi’s and the All Progressives Congress (APC), defence were 35 lawyers including 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs.
In a 2,558-page defence with over 3,000 documents as exhibits, Dr Fayemi averred that he won the gubernatorial election of July 14, and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition of Prof Olusola for lacking in merit.
The team of lawyers armed with 3,500 exhibits and 1,009 witnesses were led to the tribunal by three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, Hakeem AfoIabi, Yomi Aliyu and Dr Kayode Olatoke.
Addressing the newsmen after filling the defence, Dr Olatoke (SAN), who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said Olusola’s petition was a waste of time, as it lacked substance, expressing confidence that the case would be dismissed by the tribunal.
He explained further that Fayemi won fair and square in 12 out of the 16 local government areas of the state, while Olusola won in four. Responding to Olusola’s petition bordering on alleged over voting in some polling units, Olatoke dismissed this claim as frivolous and baseless.
He said Olusola’s first ground in his petition is based on Fayose’s phantom indictment, which had been nullified and set aside by a competent court, Olatoke said.
He added, “The second ground of Olusola’s petition is alleged over voting, which is another false claim. In any case, the petition in itself is self-defeating.
“The third ground is on deliberate voiding of votes, as alleged by Olusola, but in actual fact, majority of the voided ballots were votes meant for Fayemi, while the fourth ground is on vote buying which is baseless as it was, Olusola’s sponsor, Fayose that was guilty of this.
“Fayemi won convincingly based on his popularity.”
Other senior lawyers in the team representing Dr Fayemi and the APC are: Lateef Fagbemi, SAN; Hakeem Afolabi, SAN; John Baiyeshea, SAN; Akin Olujimi, SAN; Jelili Owonikoko, SAN; Yomi Aliyu, SAN and Segun Ajibola, SAN.
No date has been fixed for hearing.