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Ahead of guber poll, Edo PDP, APC harvest more defectors

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Ahead of the September 19, 2020, gubernatorial election in Edo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday received more defectors from the ADP and Labour Party (LP).

Leading the decampees, the State Organising Secretary of the ADP, Oshodin Izedomwen, said they were pitching a tent with the PDP because of its capacity and the performance of the party’s standard-bearer, Governor Godwin Obaseki.

The state PDP chairman, Dr. Tony Azegbemi, praised Izedomwen and his co-voyagers for their enthusiasm and trust, assuring them of their full integration into the mainstream of the political grouping.

Also, LP members, led by their candidate in the 2016 poll and United Kingdom-based legal practitioner, Nosa Kings Erhunmwumsee, identified with the APC, pledging support for its governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, “to change the narrative of governance with his lofty ideals.”

However, the PDP has said the admission by Ize-Iyamu that he was allegedly expelled from the university at a point in time had “further validated the position by his party’s former national chairman that he is unfit to hold office as governor of the state.”

Also yesterday, a Federal High Court sitting in Benin City ordered the APC candidate to appear before it on July 14, 2020, in respect of the alleged N700 million fraud case preferred against him and others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Garba gave the order following the absence of Ize-Iyamu in court on health grounds.

But the judge held that the hearing of the pending motions, challenging the jurisdiction of the court, would hold on that date after rejecting the oral request for a prolonged adjournment by counsel to the first defendant (Ize-Iyamu), Charles Edosomwan, who had argued that his client would not disobey the order of the court.

Other accused persons, including former Deputy Governor Lucky Imasuen and Mr. Efe Erimuoghae-Anthony, are facing an eight-count charge of money laundering of the above sum to prosecute the 2015 general elections.

EFCC lawyer, Ahmed Imoovba, and attorney to the second defendant, Pascal Ugbome, also confirmed that the suit was adjourned on account of Ize-Iyamu’s absence.

In a related development, the same court, presided over by Justice Mohammed Garba, also yesterday adjourned the suit to determine the mode of the state APC governorship primary to July 23, 2020, pending the determination of the pending appeal at the Supreme Court in Abuja.

The court postponed the case following an application of stay of execution by the counsel to APC, Chief Henry Ogbodu (SAN), at the resumed hearing of the matter.


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