Obaseki wins as tribunal dismisses AA petition

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Friday crossed the first huddle in his bid to retain the victory of his second term in office as the Edo State Governorship Election Petition just as tribunal dismissed the petition filed by Action Alliance (AA) party challenging the victory of the governor in the September 19, 2020, gubernatorial election on the ground that the AA and its candidate were excluded from the race.

The tribunal was unanimous in its judgement.

In defending Obaseki’s victory at the poll before the tribunal, both the governor and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had on Monday, argued that the petitioner, having failed to file for issuance of pre-hearing notice which is one of the conditions required by the Electoral Act 2010, it was deemed to have abandoned its case and prayed the tribunal to dismiss the petition, which they contended was not in existence by virtue of that fatal error.

The tribunal consequently adjourned to ruling on the matter to yesterday, Friday, December 11, 2020.

Delivering the unanimous ruling, Justice Chukwudi Nwankwo, who read the ruling, with the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Abdulrazak Abdulkareem, and the third judge, Justice Josephine Ayua, sitting, held that in the petition against the first and second respondents, the petitioners failed to file the pre-hearing notice.

As a result of the failure, the judge ruled that the petitioners were deemed to have abandoned the petition and, thereafter, dismissed the suit.

The petition is one of five filed by various individuals and their political parties at the Tribunal in their bid to nullify the victory of Governor Obaseki in the poll.

Others include the petition of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its governorship candidate, Emmanuel Iboi, against INEC, PDP, Governor Obaseki, as well as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu; and the petition of the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) against INEC, PDP, Governor Obaseki, and his deputy, Philip Shaibu.

The remaining two petitions are that of Agol Ebun Tracy against INEC, PDP and Governor Obaseki, and the petition of the Action Peoples Party (APP) against Governor Obaseki, PDP, and INEC.

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