Tension in Edo as tribunal rules on Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu guber tussle

Posted by News Express | 14 April 2017 | 2,054 times

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•Governor Obaseki and Pastor Ize-Iyamu.

Uncertainty has gripped politicians in Edo State following the decision of the of election petition tribunal sitting in Benin City to deliver its judgment today in a petition adjudicating on the last September 28, 2016 governorship election in the state.

The Ahmed Badamasi-led three-man tribunal had last Monday reserved judgment after parties had adopted their final written addresses. The decision to deliver its judgment today was conveyed to parties in the case on Wednesday by the tribunal.

Following the decision, politicians in the state have been discussing the likely outcome of the judgment in a hushed tone, expressing optimism that the outcome would be favourable to them. The development has also resulted to unusual air of calm.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Governor Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the election with 319,483 votes while PDP scored 253,173 votes.

Dissatisfied with the declaration, the PDP and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, approached the tribunal praying it to declare him winner having the lawful majority votes cast in the election.

The petitioner averred that after the deduction of all-invalid and wrongly computed votes of the candidates by the court, the respondents, APC and its candidate, polled a total of 130,696 votes while the PDP and its candidate scored 150,672 votes.

In his defence, the APC counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, said after the deduction the party still won the election with 58,696 votes.

During the trial, the PDP candidate called 91 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in exhibits.

Among the documents include voters’ register in 16 local government areas of the state as well as several copies of the INEC Forms EC8A, Form EC8B and EC8C, being results sheets for the polling units, wards and local government.

INEC however failed to call any witness but tendered some electoral documents to defend its case while Obaseki and APC called 70 and 14 witnesses, respectively, including party collation agents. The petition trial proper commenced January 7, 2017. (Business Day)

Source: News Express

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