The candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the Ekiti governorship election, Segun Oni, has rejected the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal, saying it was a miscarriage of justice.

He said the tribunal failed to consider the facts before it as well as precedences of the Supreme Court regarding similar cases in which vital pronouncements were made.

The tribunal on Thursday upheld the election of Governor Biodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress, while dismissing the petition brought against him by Mr Oni.

In the judgement read by the Chairman, Justice Wilfred Kpochi and a member, Justice Sa’ad Zadawa, the panel resolved all issues in contention against Mr Oni and his party, SDP.

The Panel held that the petition filed by Mr Oni against the return of Messrs Oyebanji and Afuye, respectively, “failed woefully head or tail.”

Mr Oyebanji had polled 187,057 votes to defeat his two closest; rivals, Mr Oni and Bisi Kolawole of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr Oni of the SDP had 82,211 votes while the PDP was third with 67,457 votes.

But Mr Oni, on 7 July, filed a petition at the tribunal challenging the declaration of Mr Oyebanji by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the election.

In his petition, Mr Oni claimed that the election was characterised by irregularities.

Mr Oni also wanted Governor Oyebanji’s nullified on the grounds that his nomination was supervised nu the APC caretaker committee headed by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni.

He had also alleged massive vote buying against the ruling party, claiming they he scored the highest number of valid votes in the election and so should be declared to true winner.

But the tribunal concluded otherwise and dismissed his petition.

In his reaction to the judgment, Mr Oni’s Spokesman, Jackson Adebayo, said it was unfortunate that the tribunal would overlook very important pronouncements by the Supreme Court before reaching its conclusions.

“The judgment is unfortunate and this is not good for our democracy,” he said.

“We are going on appeal, hopeful that we will get justice at the end of the day.”

Meanwhile, Mr Oyebanji has hailed the judgment, calling on all stakeholders to unite in bringing development to Ekiti State.

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