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Tribunal upholds Obaseki’s election as Edo governor

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Edo State Governor-elect Godwin Obaseki (middle) after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him as the winner of the election in Benin City on September 29, 2016.

The Edo Election Petition Tribunal, on Friday, upheld the election of Mr Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as governor of Edo.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led three-member tribunal, dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as lacking in merit.

Badamasi held that the petitioners failed on all fronts to prove the allegations as pleaded in their petitions.

“The petitioners have failed to prove their case with credible evidence and is therefore dismissed,’’ he said.

The tribunal held that while the petitioners abandoned some of their pleadings, “witnesses evidence were controverted under cross-examination’’.

“The much talked about ticking and over voting by the petitioners have not been specifically proved beyond reasonable doubts.

“And not calling witnesses to prove their allegations of corrupt practices and over voting was fatal to their case and is deemed to have abandoned their pleadings,’’ he held.

Badamasi, therefore, held that “the petitioners have failed to prove their case with credible evidence to show that they are entitled to their pleadings’’.

“Accordingly, the petition has failed and is hereby dismissed,’’ he said.

The petitioners had listed INEC, Obaseki and the APC as first, second and third respondents.

Ize-Iyamu had asked the tribunal to nullify the election of Obaseki and declare him the winner, having scored the majority of the lawful votes cast among other reliefs.

He averred that INEC was wrong to have declared Obaseki winner of the Sept. 28 governorship election.

Ize-Iyamu also alleged that the election was fraught with corrupt practices and over voting.

He added that INEC did not comply with the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in the conduct of the said election.


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