Edo election tribunal commences pre-trial hearing tomorrow

THE Election Petition Tribunal will commence pre-trial hearing in the case filed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu against the Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) and two others in Benin, on Thursday.

PDP and Ize-Iyamu are challenging the declaration of Mr Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner in the September 28 Edo governorship election by INEC.

The petitioners were asking the tribunal to nullify the result and instead, declare Ize-Iyamu as the winner of the said election.

But APC and Obaseki have urged the tribunal to discountenance PDP’s petition and uphold their application which challenged the areas where PDP claimed victory.

The tribunal had, on October 11, ordered INEC to allow PDP have unhindered access to all electoral materials in the September 28 governorship election in Edo.

The order followed an ex-parte motion filed by PDP’s counsel, Mr Kingsley Obamogie.

Obamogie had argued that the motion was in compliance with Section 151 of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended and prayed the court to grant them the order to inspect the INEC materials.

The three-member tribunal led by Justice A. Badamasi, on Tuesday, fixed Thursday, Dec. 1 for the commencement of the pre-trial hearing in the petition.

The other two members of the tribunal are Justices E.A. Ade Sodun and Khadi Adamu Usman.