The Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal has reserved judgement in the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Segun Oni, in the June 18 poll, against the victory of Biodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Chairman of the three-member panel, Justice Wilfred Kpochi, reserved judgement for a later date after all the parties adopted their final written addresses at the sitting held inside a packed courtroom on Wednesday, in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
While adopting his written address, counsel to the petitioner, Owoseni Ajayi, told the tribunal that the third respondent, Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala-Buni, who signed the nomination form of Oyebanji and also superintend over the APC governorship primaries contravened section 183 of the 1999 Constitution by accepting to be the APC national caretaker chairman.
According to Ajayi, ” section 183 of the 1999 Constitution stated explicitly that a sitting governor shall not accept any other executive position while in office.”
On the allegation that the deputy governor, Mrs Monisade Afuye, presented a fake school certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Ajayi told the tribunal that according to Section 136 of the Electoral Act, ” the burden of proof was on Mrs Afuye to defend herself of the allegation and since she refused to come to the tribunal to clear herself of the allegation, her quietness and refusal to defend herself of the allegation is admission of guilt in law.”
In their submissions, Oyebanji, APC and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition filed by Oni and SDP.
The governor maintained that Oni and his party, SDP, failed to sufficiently discharge the burden of proof on them to convince the Tribunal that the election did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended.)
Oyebanji and Afuye, who are the first and fifth respondents, through their counsel, Professor Kayode Olatoke (SAN), told the Tribunal that their written address was dated October 29 and filed on October 30, and adopted same before the Tribunal as evidence, urging that the election of his clients be affirmed.
Ruling, Justice Kpochi, said the judgement day would be communicated to the parties.