AGENE GODWIN, Benin
The Edo State Election Petition Tribunal Friday dismissed the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its candidate Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu challenging the victory of Mr Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the September 28, governorship poll in the state.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu had prayed the tribunal to declare him winner of the election stating that error of non-accreditation, over voting, improper ballot voting and other anomalies marred the electoral process.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ahmed Badamusi in his judgement which lasted for about two hours and ten minutes said, the PDP and Ize-Iyamu were unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the election was indeed marred by irregularities whereas the respondents have been able to prove that the conduct of the poll was credible.
Justice Badamusi added that the tribunal had carefully examined the various claims raised by the petitioners and the respondents whether or not they fall within the ambience of the law.
He said the counsels to the PDP were able to prove that Osagie Ize-Iyamu whose name appeared in the Independent National Electoral Commission’s form was the same person as Pastor Andrew Osagie Ize-Iyamu who was the second petitioner.
Justice Badamusi further explained that Ize-Iyamu and the PDP were unable to back their claim with evidence that there were corrupt practices, forgery, fraud and unauthorized results in Owan East local government area, ward 1 to 11 during the election stating that no witnesses were presented.
Also, he said the petitioners have not been able to prove their case because issues of non accreditation, voters register, ballot paper irregularities were at the administrative directive of the INEC.
He further explained that the petitioners didn’t show legal documents representing any of their earlier demonstrated claim of excess voting.
Again, the tribunal said there was no law against inducing voters and as such it was out of place for the petitioners to be declared winner of the election based on that.
Justice Badamusi then said the petitioners presented frail witnesses who didn’t help their case without evidence to pursue their case and as such the suit was dismissed.