Edo: APC evading court service by shutting down secretariat, PDP alleges

Ahead the inauguration of an electoral tribunal to look into the conduct of the September 28, Edo State governorship election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of avoiding court papers by putting its state secretariat under lock and keys.

The Independent National Electoral Commission  (INEC) had declared Godwin Obaseki of APC as the winner of the election, while PDP’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in a petition filed before Edo State election petitions tribunal in Benin, asked that he should be declared as the winner due to alleged electoral fraud committed by the APC and the INEC.

In a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday, publicity secretary of the Edo PDP, Chris Nehikhare, said the APC shut its state secretariat in Benin, upon the realisation that the PDP has filed her case in order to make service of necessary legal documents impossible.

According to Nehikhare, “To our amazement, not surprise, since the APC heard that PDP had indeed filed a robust and detailed petition at the tribunal, they have put their party secretariat on airport road under lock and key.”

“Even the security man has been warned, from showing up at work and all party officials no longer stay in their known residences. In fact, they’ve gone into hiding. Even the interim governor-elect has gone underground.

“They are not celebrating, inaugurating a transition team and interacting with the people that ‘gave them the mandate’ but are moving from hotel to hotel under assumed names and under disguise.”

A check at the APC state secretariat, located on Airport Road, in Benin, showed that it was under lock and key, even as the state publicity secretary of the party, Comrade Godwin Erhahon, could not explain the reason behind the shutting down of the secretariat.”

Speaking on phone with Nigerian Tribune, he said, “I don’t have any idea; I don’t know anything about it.”

When asked if he had not been using his office at the secretariat, he said “you know I have a private office. If there is a better person, who can speak on that, it is the state chairman.”