Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has objected to a lawsuit challenging his reelection in July, urging the state’s election tribunal to dismiss the suit which questions his qualification and the validity of the voters’ register used for the poll.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate for the election, Ehigie Airhiavbere, told the tribunal Mr. Oshiomhole lacked the required educational qualification for his post.
He also blamed his loss on an alleged use of an amended voters’ register against the understanding that an updated 2011 elections register be used for the election.
Mr. Airhiavbere has pressed on with the case despite his party’s directive that the case be discontinued.
The PDP has denounced the move, saying it would only end up in a prolonged litigation that could further imperil the party’s chances in future elections in the state. The election was adjudged reasonably fair.
Ken Mozia, counsel for Mr. Oshiomhiole’s party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), filed a preliminary objection to the case over the weekend arguing that the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, did not prescribe an academic benchmark for governorship candidates.
Mr. Mozia also said the voters’ register claim was “false” and “untenable” since it was a pre-election matter which the court has no jurisdiction over.
“Paragraph 13(iii) of the petition, which raises the issue of the validity of the voters’ registers used for the conduct of the House of Assembly and National Assembly election in 2011 is incompetent as it contains matters that are irrelevant and raise pre-election matters not recognizable before this tribunal,” Mr. Mozia stated.
The party also denied using thugs to intimidate voters during the election as claimed by Mr. Airhiavbere. He therefore urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.