…PDP kicks, approaches Supreme Court for justice
Supporters of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in their thousands throng the streets of Benin City on Friday to celebrate as the petition by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Pastor Ize Iyamu in last year’s Edo State gubernatorial elections suffered another blow at the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, the state capital.
It was indeed merriment galore across the State after the five-member Appeal Court panel upheld the judgment delivered by the Elections Petitions’ tribunal validating the election of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The PDP candidate had through his counsel, Yusuf Ali, appealed against the judgment delivered by the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led Edo Governorship Election Petition Tribunal affirming Obaseki’s victory in the September 28, 2016 governorship polls.
President of the Appeal panel, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, who delivered the judgment, said the tribunal was right to uphold Mr. Obaseki’s election, noting that the tribunal did a thorough job and was therefore right to dismiss Mr Ize-Iyamu’s petition.
According to Justice Dongba-Mensen, the appeal lacked merit because the election could not be nullified on mere allegations that the judges at the tribunal purportedly compromised their judicial responsibilities.
The panel, in its unanimous decision, threw out the appeal as lacking in merit and confirmed the APC’s candidate as the dully-elected Governor of Edo state.
Similarly, the court dismissed claims that the PDP and its flag-bearer were not given enough time to follow through their vote recount, which exceeded the 14 days allowed by law.
The Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led three-member Edo Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had dismissed the PDP’s candidate’s petition for lacking in merit, adding that the Party and its flag-bearer failed on all fronts to prove the allegations contained in their petitions.
Ize-Iyamu had, among other reliefs, sought the tribunal to nullify Obaseki’s election and declare him as the rightful winner, having scored majority of the legal votes cast. In alleging crass manipulation of the polls, the PDP had insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was wrong to declare Obaseki and the APC as having won the gubernatorial race because the exercise was fraught with corrupt practices and over voting.
Meanwhile, the PDP has announced its intention to challenge the Appeal Court’s ruling at the Supreme Court, describing it as a miscarriage of justice, unfair and lacking in finality.