Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City, the Edo State capital, yesterday granted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, leave to inspect all materials used in the conduct of the last September 28 governorship election in the state.
The three-man panel of judges headed by Justice A.T Badamasi granted the motion.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had last September 29, 2016, declared Godwin Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate winner of the election with over 319,483 votes to defeat his PDP opponent who polled a total of 253,173 votes.
Kingsley Obamogie, counsel to the petitioners, said the application was in line with Section 151 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
Obamogie averred that the section empowered the petitioners to institute motion ex parte to pray the tribunal to inspect all the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s materials used for the election.
The tribunal judges after studying the petitioners’ motion, ordered INEC to make available all the electoral materials used for the conduct of the election to the petitioners.
Though the tribunal was yet to be officially inaugurated, an official of the court said it could only be inaugurated when the petitions have been filed by aggrieved parties and their candidates that participated in the governorship election.
He noted that aggrieved parties have 21 days within which to file petitions.