Appeal Court upholds Obaseki’s election
The Court of Appeal, sitting in Benin City, yesterday upheld the election of Governor Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the duly elected governor of Edo State.
The court dismissed the petition filed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as lacking in merit. Ize-Iyamu, through his Counsel, Yusuf Ali (SAN), appealed against the judgment of the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which affirmed Obaseki as winner of the September 28, last year governorship election.
Justice M.B. Dongban-Mensem, who delivered the judgment, said the tribunal was right to uphold Obaseki’s election and dismiss Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’ petition for lacking in merit, having done a painstaking job.
Justice Badamasi held that PDP and its candidate failed in all fronts to prove the allegations as pleaded in their petitions, adding: “The petitioners have failed to prove their case with credible evidence and is therefore dismissed.”
The tribunal held that while the petitioners abandoned some of their pleadings, “witnesses evidences 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.
Justice Badamasi, therefore, held: “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.”
The petitioners had listed the Independent National Electoral Commission (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 winner, having scored majority of the lawful votes cast, among other reliefs. He averred that INEC was wrong to have declared Obaseki winner of the election.