Why court upheld Governor Obaseki’s election, Ize-Iyamu to appeal

Ize-Iyamu casting his vote at the polling unit
Ize-Iyamu casting his vote at the polling unit

An election petition tribunal sitting in Benin, Edo State, on Friday affirmed the victory of Godwin Obaseki as the winner of the gubernatorial elections held on September 28, 2016.

The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, had challenged Mr. Obaseki’s victory, alleging widespread irregularities.

Mr. Ize-Iyamu, a Christian preacher, has instructed his lawyers to file an appeal immediately, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

Mr. Obaseki, who ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Mr. Obaseki polled 319,483 votes as against Ize-Iyamu’s 253,173 votes, defeating the PDP candidate with 66, 310 votes.

Ahmed Badamosi, who led the three-man tribunal, dismissed Mr. Ize-Iyamu’s petition, saying it lacked merit.

Mr. Badamosi held that the petitioners failed on all fronts to prove their allegations of voter fraud and other corrupt practices that allegedly marred the poll.

“The petitioners have failed to prove their case with credible evidence and it’s therefore dismissed,’’ he said.

The tribunal held that while the petitioners abandoned some of their pleadings, “witnesses evidence was controverted under cross-examination’’.

“The much talked about ticking and over voting by the petitioners have not been specifically proved beyond reasonable doubts.

“And not calling witnesses to prove their allegations of corrupt practices and over voting was fatal to their case and is deemed to have abandoned their pleadings,’’ it found.

“Accordingly, the petition has failed and is hereby dismissed,’’ it held.

Mr. Ize-Iyamu and the PDP had listed INEC, Mr. Obaseki and the APC as first, second and third respondents, respectively.

He asked the tribunal to nullify the election of Mr. Obaseki and declare him the winner, having allegedly scored majority of the lawful votes cast among other reliefs sought.

But Mr. Ize-Iyamu’s lawyers said they had been instructed to file an appeal as soon as possible.

“Our client just said we should proceed and file an appeal to reverse the ruling,” Yusuf Ali, a senior advocate of Nigeria and lead counsel to the petitioner, told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Friday afternoon. “We’re not going to condemn the conclusion of the tribunal, but we know our appeal is in order.”

PREMIUM TIMES understands that wild celebration broke out amongst supporters of Mr. Obaseki and the APC shortly after the pronouncement.

Amongst those celebrating the victory in Benin was a former governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole.

“The judgment is sound and a testimony that the people of Edo never voted for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP),” Mr. Oshiomhole said while interacting with reporters Friday afternoon. ‘‘The petition was a busy body one to distract the electorate; this was just like ‘Mama Akara’ judgment going to see over a non-issue.’’

The former governor said the judgment showed that there were still men and women of good character in the judiciary.

‘‘This will serve as a deterrent to some people who can say whatever they like about the judiciary.

‘‘But it has shown it (judiciary) has men & women of good charter of courage and knowledge,’’ Mr. Oshiomhole said.


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  • Nonsense!

    Mr Oshiomhole moved on from a Labour leader who once stood for the poor masses to become a politician. Once a Governor, he sent all his Children abroad to study and bought houses in US.

    QUESTION
    How did Oshiomhole make his money? Is it the same way Osinbanjo madde his millions? These politicians sef? Na only thiefi thiefi na him dem sabi. Yeye Fowls! I pray that God will prepare a special place in hell for all thieving politicians especially those that used sweet mouth and tongue to deceive people and steal monies 4dem pocket.

    • Shahokaya

      No wonder you answer nonsense as your name. Your parents were unfortunate to have nonsense as their child.

      • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

        Surely, there’s something in a name!

  • nigerian

    No hope in nigeria why other countries is trying to build their country we are going backword backword. it quite a shame because the future is this great country nigeria destoried. when our judiciary can not be independent . what is the hope for this beautiful country

  • El Patron

    We all know Edo election was a broad day light robbery, but honestly i dont pity PDP at all. If it were another party involded i would have been upset. They are the creators of this mess and now its coming back to bite them. Their philosophy is; any election just win it any way you can, 90% of the time the tribunal wont be sufficiently convinced that the fraud was large scale enough as to tilt the result of the election. It is very very difficult to prove it. If elections like Fayose’s (2014) and Wike (2015) can stand the test of courts then Ize-Iyamu shouldn’t bother wasting his money appealing all the way to the supreme court, the outcome wont change

    • Bjay

      Thank you for this good analysis iyamu should stay clear of appeal because nothing good will come out of it.

  • Bright Henry

    Ize iyamu is wasting his time.
    Up APC

  • Kevin Peter

    Surely, Ize-Iyamu will win at the appeal court!

  • Sophocles

    I feel pity for our judges. Always being accused of biased judgement by the losers, and hailed by the winners. Same Oshiomole praising the judiciary today, will still castigate it should court of appeal have a different view of the case.

  • Bjay

    If ize iyamu want bright future of Edo politics he should just forget appeal now,he knew from unset this case is like river state.