5 Political Parties Eject Edo Governorship Result, Approaches Court

Moses Ofodeme

Five Political Parties have approached the Court to challenge the victory of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki at the recently concluded elections in Septembe.

The Secretary of the Edo Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, Mr Sunday Martins, confirmed this to newsmen in Benin on Monday.

Martins said he has received petitions from five political parties; as well as their candidates, challenging the declaration of Obaseki as the rightful winner of the September 19 poll.

He said that the 21-day window period for the submission of petitions ended on Saturday. However, he said that the bailiff had not succeeded in his efforts to personally serve Obaseki the court notice.

He said that the governor “must be served personally because it is an originating process”.

The political parties and their candidates include the Action Peoples Party (APP); Action Alliance (AA), Mr Ukonga Frank; Allied Peoples’ Movement; the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Mr. Agol Ebun; as well as the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Iboi Emmanuel.

All the petitions joined Obaseki, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as respondents. Also, the petition by ADP and its candidate had Obaseki, PDP, INEC; as well as Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress as defendants.

The candidates of APP and AA petitions were challenging their unlawful exclusion from the ballot papers by INEC; after having been validly nominated by their party, in line with the Electoral Act. They were praying the tribunal to nullify the election and order a fresh poll to be conducted within 90 days.

In addition, they demanded that validly nominated candidates should be included in the new ballot papers.

On their part, the APM and NNPP were challenging the validity of Forms EC9 and CF001 reportedly submitted by Obaseki in respect of the 2020 and 2016 governorship polls in the state.

Also, ADP and Emmanuel were asking the tribunal to look at the list of Vice Chancellors (VC) of the University of Ibadan (UI); from 1947 to date, an e-newspaper publication that announced the death of Prof. Tekena Tamuno, among other documents.

Emmanuel alleged in his petition that Tamuno, who was the VC of UI from December 1975 to November 1979; could not have signed the certificate Obaseki allegedly presented to the APC for screening.

He also alleged that the purported university degree, which Obaseki claimed was issued by UI, had no date on it.

Therefore, the ADP candidate argued that Obaseki was not qualified to run for the poll; adding that votes credited to him were null and void and of no effect and value.

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