Tribunal dismisses Segun Oni’s petition, affirms Oyebanji as Ekiti governor

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The Ekiti Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Thursday dismissed the petition of the former governor of the state, Segun Oni against the election of Biodun Oyebanji at the governorship election held on June 18, 2022.

Oyebanji, a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), was declared winner of the election after securing victory in 15 out of the 16 LGAs in the state.

The governor, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had 187,057 votes, defeating Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who polled 82,211 votes, and Bisi Kolawole of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 67,457 votes.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the poll, Oni filed a petition against Oyebanji and the APC before a three-member tribunal chaired by Wilfred Kpochi.

Oni had claimed in his petition that Oyebanji’s election was characterised by irregularities.

He also argued that it was wrong for the Mai Mala Buni-led APC leadership to have supervised the primary that produced Oyebanji as the governorship candidate.

Additionally, he alleged that Monisade Afuye, now Ekiti deputy governor, presented fake WAEC results to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Delivering the judgment on Thursday, the panel dismissed Oni’s petition.

Kpochi, chairman of the tribunal, held that Oni failed to prove the allegations against the respondents.

“The validity of the certificate or qualification of the 5th respondent (Afuye) remains unhurt.

“The petitioners have been unable to prove that she presented a forged certificate.

“We dismiss the issue of corrupt practices in the election. The appellants did not call any witness from any polling unit or ward,” the tribunal ruled.

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