Benin- Godwin Obaseki the Governor of Edo State, yesterday, floored the Action Democratic Party, ADP, and its governorship candidate in the September 19, 2020, governorship election, Iboi Emmanuel at the Edo State governorship election petition tribunal as a petition brought against him and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was dismissed.
In a five and a half hour ruling, Justice Suleiman Abubakar said, the petitioners could not prove their case of forgery, participation in the primary election of two political parties and not having the constitutional qualification to contest the governorship election against Obaseki.
The tribunal first ruled that the inclusion of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its candidate in the governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as respondents in the petition by the ADP and then make it look like they have a stake in the petition through motions was “novel in election petitions cases in Nigeria.
“Based on our consideration of all the issues raised in this petition, we are of the view that the petitioners could not prove that Governor Obaseki, who was declared winner of the September 19, 2020, governorship election as the governor of Edo State, was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the election, therefore, this petition is hereby dismissed in its entirety.
“The election of Obaseki as the governor of Edo State is hereby affirmed by this tribunal.
“In our findings, the first respondent went to school up to the school certificate level and eminently qualified to run for the office of the governor of the state and contests in the September 19, 2020, governorship election.”
The petitioners had challenged the outcome of the September 19 governorship election that brought in Governor Obaseki.
They argued that Obaseki presented forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the purpose of the election.
Reacting to the judgment, counsel to the petitioners, Douglas Ogbankwa said they gave their best in the case and commended the panel for its efforts but insisted that there was merit in their case and believed that the Court of Appeal would do the needful by upturning the decision of the tribunal.‘‘