The court of appeal has upheld Biodun Oyebanji’s victory in the 18 June 2022 election for governor of Ekiti state.
Tuesday, a three-member panel of the court ruled that Segun Oni’s, candidate for the Social Democratic Party (SDP), appeal was without substance and dismissed it.
Former state secretary (SSG) Oyebanji was proclaimed the winner of the election after gaining victories in 15 of the state’s 16 LGAs.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for governor received 187,057 votes, defeating Oni, who received 82,211 votes, and Bisi Kolawole of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who received 67,457 votes.
Oni filed a petition against Oyebanji and the APC before a three-member tribunal presided over by Wilfred Kpochi because he was dissatisfied with the election results.
In his suit, Oni alleged that Oyebanji’s election was marred by irregularities.
He also stated that it was improper for the APC leadership led by Mai Mala Buni to oversee the primaries that produced Oyebanji as the candidate for governor.
In addition, he said that the current deputy governor of Ekiti, Monisade Afuye, gave phony WAEC results to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The panel denied Oni’s petition on December 29.
The SDP candidate for governor appealed to the court of appeal with the identical arguments made before the tribunal.
Hamma Barka, who read the lead decision in the judgments delivered online via Zoom, concurred with the tribunal’s ruling.
Regarding the accusation of certificate fraud against the deputy governor, Barka ruled that Oni should have presented witnesses, including a member of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), to substantiate his claims.
All other issues raised were rectified to the respondents’ satisfaction.
After all grounds against the appellant were resolved, the appeal was dismissed for lack of merit.
The appellate court also awarded the fourth and fifth respondents N200,000 in costs against the appellant.
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