By Shola Abayomi.
The Supreme Court today, brushed aside the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its Ekiti State governorship candidate Kolapo Olusola-Eleka challenging the election victory of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
In a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Iyang Okoro, the apex court upheld 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 poll for lack of merit.
The judgement read in part: “I am satisfied to hold that there is no merit in this appeal. It has to be noted that in this case, the two courts below are concurrent in their findings.
“This court is always hesitant to interfere with concurrent decisions of the lower courts.
“This appeal has no merit and it is accordingly dismissed. I affirm judgement of the lower court.”
The five-man panel of the Supreme Court was led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC had pronounced the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Kayode Fayemi as the winner of the July 14, 2018 polls with a total of 197,459 votes, beating his closest challenger Olusola-Eleka of the PDP who recorded 178,121 votes in the election.
The PDP and its candidate had earlier challenged the outcome of the election at the Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, claiming that the election was marred by a lot of wrongs including non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
The tribunal had on January 28, 2019 dismissed their petition and affirmed the results declared by INEC, while
the Court of Appeal also ruled in favor of Fayemi, INEC and the APC.