Tribunal Frustrating Our Right of Appeal, Edo PDP Cries out

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has accused the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin-city of frustrating its right of appeal on the judgment delivered in the petition filed by Hon Omosede Igbinedion against the election of Hon Dennis Idahosa.

In the judgment, the three-man panel led by Justice O. Ogundana had dismissed Omosede’s petition for lack of merit.

However, the PDP said it was curious to lovers of democracy about the unwarranted delay in the release of the certified true copy of the Enrolled Order of Judgement

The party in a statement signed by its state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, said the Igbinedion’s petition was the first the tribunal read and delivered judgement on 10 days ago.

According to the statement, “It is a known fact that parties are allowed by law to go on appeal within 21 days of judgement.

“But our right of appeal is being frustrated by the deliberate delay to avail us with copies of the judgement to enable us file our appeal within time. We are informed that All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders have boasted that by the time we get certified copies of the judgement, our lawyers will not have time to file any appeal. They have admitted in certain quarters that they may lose at appeal even though they know that the tribunal tried in its five hours long judgment to justify its position.

“The state PDP, therefore, calls on the tribunal to immediately do the needful, as it is common knowledge that copies of judgement passed several days after the Igbinedion’s petition has been made available to the parties involved.

“The tribunal will be doing itself a great disservice if they allow APC to create the impression that in this particular case, they are taking instructions from ‘outside’.”

Reacting to the PDP statement, Chairman of the state APC, Mr. Anselm Ojezua, denied allegations of his party having fears of losing at the appeal court.

Ojezua said the APC has more appeal to file against the tribunal judgment than the PDP.

He urged the PDP to know where to direct their complaints at, saying: “When did the APC become a member of the judiciary? We are also being affected by the delay.”