Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state Monday floored the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its governorship candidate in the September 19, 2020 governorship election, Iboi Emmanuel, at the Edo state governorship election petition tribunal as a petition brought against him and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was dismissed.
In a five and a half hour ruling, Justice Suleiman Abubakar said the petitioners could not prove their case of forgery, participating in the primary election of two political parties, not having the constitutional qualification to contest for governorship election against Obaseki.
The tribunal first ruled that the inclusion of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as respondents in the petition by the ADP and then making look like they have a stake in the petition through motions was “novel in election petitions cases in Nigeria”
“Based on our consideration of all the issues raised in this petition, we are of the view that the petitioner could not prove that Governor Godwin Obaseki who was declared winner of the September 19, 2020 governorship election as the governor of Edo state was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the election, therefore, this petition is hereby dismissed in its entirety.
“The election of Godwin Noghegase Obaseki as the governor of Edo state is hereby affirmed by this tribunal.”
He said, “In our findings, the first respondents went to school up to the school certificate level and eminently qualified to run for the office of the governor of the state and contest in the September 19, 2020 governorship election.”
The petitioners filed a petition contending the outcome of the September 19 governorship election that brought in Governor Godwin Obaseki. They argued that Obaseki presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the purpose of the election.
Reacting to the judgment, counsel to the petitioners, Douglas Ogbankwa said they gave their best in the case and commended the panel for their efforts but insisted that there is merit in their case and he believes that the Court of Appeal would do the needful by upturning the decision of the tribunal.