Edo Senator criticises ‘go to court’ statement after rigged election

Photo credit: dailypost.ng

The Senator representing Edo South, Matthew Urhoghide, has said the practice of urging voters to file a petition after an election had been rigged must stop.

Mr. Urhoghide spoke to journalists in Benin, Thursday, during the collation of the results of the governorship election.

“You don’t blatantly rig an election and then say go to court,” a seething Mr. Urhoghide said inside the premises of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The senator, who was the campaign director for Andrew Ize-Iyamu, the Peoples’ Democratic Party candidate, said although voting at his polling unit was free and fair, the result was cancelled.

“They must do something about it. That unit’s result should be returned, unit 9, ward 2, I voted there. There was no violence in that unit. Why will they cancel the result?”

But a member of the All Progressives Congress, Blessing Agomere, quickly countered Mr. Urhoghide’s claims, saying election results were also cancelled in APC strongholds.

“The election was free and fair,” said Mr. Agomere.

“Even in the deputy governor’s constituency, results were cancelled, in Edo Central, results were cancelled, even in some areas in Edo North, results were cancelled.

“Nobody has complained. INEC is doing their job and they have a right to do their job.

“People find it difficult to accept defeat. If you are a senator and you are defeated in your local government, you accept your defeat. You will not come to INEC and begin to lay allegations.”

Godwin Obaseki, the APC candidate polled 319,483 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Ize-Iyamu of the PDP who got 253,173 votes.

On Wednesday, after casting his vote, Mr. Urhoghide had, said the issue of vote-buying by the APC should be nipped in the bud.

“There are criticisms for some of the things going on, particularly the horse trading and the haggling, the touting that is going on,” he had told PREMIUM TIMES.

“It’s very obvious in this Unit 4 and, of course, I think this is obscene. The APC is doing it with a whole lot of impudence.”

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Ben Ezeamalu is an Assistant Managing Editor and the Head of Lagos Operations/Metro Editor at PREMIUM TIMES. A graduate of Microbiology from the University of Jos, Ben won the 2015 Africa Fact-Check Awards and was a runner-up in the 2014 CNN/Multichoice African Journalists of the Year.

Twitter: @callmebenfigo.

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