Edo Election Tribunal Dismisses Petitions Challenging Obaseki’s Victory

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By Adibe Emenyonu

The Edo Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin City yesterday dismissed the petition of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and two others against Governor Godwin Obaseki, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The ADP and its governorship candidate, Mr. Iboi Emmanuel had filed a petition before the tribunal challenging the election victory of Obaseki.

Other petition dismissed by the tribunal included the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against INEC, PDP, Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu.

Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Yunusa Musa said the petition was lacking in merit.

Also, the tribunal dismissed ADP’s petition against INEC, PDP, Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Osagie Ize-Iyamu holding that the petitioners, 4th and 5th respondents have not proved that at the time of contesting the election, Obaseki was not qualified to participate in the election

The tribunal held that Obaseki was qualified to contest the September 19 governorship election in the state.

Delivering judgement on the petition of the Action Democratic Party and Iboi, the tribunal held that the third respondent, Obaseki did not submit a forged certificate or false information to INEC for the purpose of qualifying for the election.

As to the issue of whether the third respondent was educated up to school certificate level having filled in-dash in the column for primary education in the form, the tribunal held that that the dash reflected in the column is of no moment as it was evident that he is educated beyond school certificate level.

Reacting to the allegation of the double nomination of the third respondent, the tribunal held that the petitioners did not establish a case of double nomination against the 3rd respondent.

The tribunal dismissed the petition, affirmed the election of Obaseki as the Governor of Edo State in the September 19 governorship election

Justice Suleiman Yahaha Abubakar, member one, read the judgment. There was no dissenting view.

The tribunal also ruled on a preliminary objection and some applications. Ruling on the application seeking the striking out of the fourth respondent, the APC and the fifth respondent, Ize-Iyamu, for not being statutory respondents, the tribunal struck out the fourth and fifth respondents and all processes filed for and by them in relation to the petition.