APC makes U-turn, challenges Fayose’s victory

The All Progressives Congress has filed a petition challenging the results of the June 21 governorship election won by the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Mr. Ayo Fayose.

It was learnt that the Chairman of the Ekiti APC, Chief Jide Awe, submitted the petition on Saturday before the Ekiti Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti.

The Independent National Electoral Commission declared Fayose as the winner of the election ahead of the incumbent governor and the APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

The PDP candidate defeated Fayemi to a distant second position with 203,090 votes to 120,433.
But the APC alleged that the election was manipulated by the Federal Government in favour of the PDP.

The petitioner asked the tribunal to “unravel the hidden facts surrounding the election,” saying the poll was more of “a mechanical exercise than the conventional casting of votes.”

The party, which also challenged the qualification of Fayose for the election, stated that the governor-elect had an ongoing criminal case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

It cited manipulation and undue militarisation of the election, as well as impeachment of the incoming governor as grounds for the petition.

Awe had told Saturday PUNCH in an interview that the party would contest the conduct of the election.
He said the party’s decision to challenge the election was not at variance with the earlier position of Fayemi, who had congratulated Fayose after INEC declared the PDP candidate as the winner of the June 21 poll.
He said, “It is very novel in this part of the world that somebody will concede defeat. The APC is saying that there are some things it wants to unravel. And I made a statement in an advertorial that parts of the landmines that had been planted for the 2015 general elections were detonated in Ekiti, which I called a very bad experiment.

“In a situation where you put the whole state under siege two weeks before the election, you militarised the whole place, even with dogs and horses. Election cannot be a war more than what we experienced in Ekiti State in the name of election.

“So, I believe some of these things, other than the result of the election, need to be questioned not because of now but for the future. In a situation where you mobilised soldiers from their barracks to intimidate, to hijack, to suppress and to arrest innocent citizens 72 hours before the election, that is an aberration and strange to democracy.

“You cannot continue to use soldiers to suppress democracy and expect democracy to grow. These are some of the things the leadership of the APC said they are going to examine,” Awe had said.

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