As the Edo State Gubernatorial Election Petition Tribunal closes Saturday, the window for the submission of petitions by political parties over the September 19 governorship election in the state, two other parties have submitted petitions against the declaration of Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the poll.
The two political parties who filed their petitions dated October 5, 2020, are Action Peoples Party (APP) and Action Alliance (AA). Both are contesting the outcome of the election on the ground of “unlawful exclusion”.
The filling of the petitions by the two political parties brings to three, the number of petitions before the tribunal with ADP and its governorship candidate, Iboi Lucky Emmanuel, having filed one petition earlier in the week.
APP, in the petition in which Governor Obaseki, the PDP and INEC are respondents, claimed that it was unlawfully excluded just as AA’s candidate, Ukonga Frank Onaivi, claimed in his petition against Obaseki, PDP and INEC that he was also excluded unlawfully in spite of being the validly-nominated candidate of the party in line with the Electoral Act.
Both petitioners are praying the tribunal to nullify the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, where INEC gave victory to Godwin Obaseki of the PDP, and asked that a fresh election to be ordered within 90 days, while the validly-nominated candidate (Onaivi of AA) and APP should be included in the new ballot papers.
The earlier petition by the ADP and its governorship candidate, Iboi Lucky Emmanuel, where INEC, PDP, Obaseki, APC and Ize-Iyamu are joined as respondents, the petitioners had asked the tribunal to disqualify Obaseki on the claims that he presented a fake/forged University of Ibadan (UI) certificate and that he participated in the primaries of both the APC and the PDP; and urged the tribunal to disqualify Obaseki, nullify the votes cast for him and order INEC to conduct a fresh election involving all other qualified governorship candidates, excluding PDP and Obaseki.
According to the secretary of the tribunal, Sunday Martins, Saturday, October 10 is the last day for submission of petitions by political parties and their candidates.
Respondents have 21 days, from the dates of filing the petitions, to respond to the petitions/allegations levelled against them, after which the inaugural sitting will be held.
The first runner up in the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, of the APC, it would be recalled, had said that he would not be contesting the outcome of the election at the tribunal, but he would pursue the two pre-election matters he instituted against Obaseki.