The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the election of Kayode Fayemi as
the Governor of Ekiti State after dismissing the appeal brought before
it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship
candidate in Ekiti State, Kolapo Olusola-Eleka.
A five-member panel of the apex court, held in a unanimous judgement
that the appeal challenging the outcome of the poll lacked merit.
The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko
Muhammad headed the five-man panel.
Justice John Okoro, who read the lead judgment, affirmed the
judgments of both the Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal and the
Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which had both dismissed the
petition challenging the outcome of the July 2018 polln held in the
“I am satisfied to hold that there is no merit in this appeal. It has
to be noted that the two courts had dismissed the appeal. This court
is therefore hesitant to intervene with the concurrent findings of the
lower court and the tribunal.
“The court can only intervene in concurrent judgments if there is
clear case of miscarriage of justice. In the instant appeal, there is
no such evidence that the findings occasioned a miscarriage of
justice, ” Justice Okoro held.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared
Fayemi and the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner, having polled a
total of 197,459 votes to defeated Olusola-Eleka and the PDP who
placed second with 178,121 votes in the July 14, 2018 election.
Dissatisfied with the outcome, PDP and Olusola-Eleka had filed their
petition before the Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal which sat
and delivered its judgment in Abuja.
The petitioners alleged among others in their petition that the
election was marred by a lot of wrongs including non-compliance with
the Electoral Act.
But the tribunal on January 28, 2019 dismissed their petition and
affirmed the results declared by INEC.
The petitioners further appealed to the Court of Appeal, raising seven
issues against the judgment of the tribunal.
But delivering judgment, Justice Stephen Adah who led the three-man
panel of the Court of Appeal, resolved all the seven issues raised
against the appellants in favour of Fayemi, INEC and APC, who were
respondents in the petition.
Justice Adah dismissed the case for lacking in merit, a decision the
two other members of the panel, Justices Tinuade Akomolafe, Wilson and
Emmanuel Agim, consented to.
In their further appeal to the Supreme Court, the PDP and
Olusola-Eleka, urged the apex court through their lawyer, Yusuf Ali
(SAN), to upturn the lower court’s judgment.
But the Supreme Court held a different view.