An application for the recount of ballot papers used in the July 14 poll by the People Democratic Party (PDP) has been turned down by Ekiti Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja.
The PDP and its candidate, Prof. Olusola Kolapo are challenging the outcome of the election in court.
Justice Bolaji Belgore, the chairman of the three-man tribunal committee declared that the application lacked merit.
Belgore noted that Ekiti had 177 wards with 2,197 polling units in 16 local government areas but the petitioners only complained of 325 polling units in their petition before the tribunal
He said PDP and its candidate did not raise issue about all the 2,197 polling units in the state.
“To pray for recount in all wards and polling units across the state is to make firm nonsense of the petitioners’ pleading,” Belgore said.
He said the tribunal could only admit where it was supported by pleading, adding that what the petitioners wanted could not be situated in their pleading before the tribunal.
The justice stated that evident so generated from the recount of the ballot eill have no bearing on the proceeding.
He added that what the petitioners wanted to do was to spring a surprise on the respondents which they would not be able to respond to as time for pleading had closed.
He stated that the tribunal was in agreement with the submission of the counsel for Fayemi, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), that the petitioners were fishing for evidence under the guise of recounting the ballot.
The relief that seeks the recount be done in the presence of two representatives of the parties in the matter, secretary of the tribunal and security operatives, the tribunal held that involving its secretary would amount to the secretary giving evidence for the petitioners.
“The secretary of the tribunal cannot be a party to do what the application wanted,” Justice Belgore stated.
He, therefore, declared, “we hereby rule that the application is lacking in merit.”