Tribunal strikes out certificate forgery case against Oshiomhole

The election tribunal held that allegations of certificate forgery was a pre-election matter not meant for the tribunal.

The Edo State governorship election tribunal has struck out the case of certificate forgery leveled against Governor Adams Oshiomhole by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last governorship election.

The court ruled that such a case is a pre-election matter and not one that should be brought to the tribunal.

“The petitioner embarked on a wild goose chase by approaching the tribunal instead of the Federal High Court,” the tribunal headed by Suleiman Ambrusa said.

The PDP candidate in the election, Charles Airhiavbere, had challenged the victory of Mr. Oshiomhole in the election held on July 14. In challenging the results of the election, Mr. Airhiavbere alleged that the governor falsified his cadmic credentials and that they were irregularities in the conduct of the election.

Mr. Airhiavbere chose to proceed with his petition against Mr. Oshiomhole’s election despite a directive and decision by his party, the PDP, not to challenge the governor’s election.

The opposition candidate however got a reprieve as the court ruled that it had the jurisdiction to entertain the petition based on the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, and that Mr. Airhiavbere was right to have joined the Resident Electoral Commissioner and the Returning Officer in the suit. The tribunal ruled that both officials, as staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, are parties to the election as such they could be joined in the petition.

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