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Jubilation in Edo as tribunal affirms Obaseki’s electoral victory

Youths and elderly people joined hundreds of members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State on the streets of Benin City yesterday to celebrate the ruling of the Edo State Election Petitions Tribunal which affirmed the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

The party members, who had previously gathered in groups at strategic locations close to the court, started dancing and singing victory songs at about 11:30 am, following the declaration of APC as the legitimate winner of the 2015 governorship election in the state.

Joined by Governor Obaseki in a victory walk that also featured music, they waved the party’s flags and trekked from Ringroad to different parts of the city, causing heavy traffic jam in some parts of the city for about two and a half hours.

Residents and passers-by did not only join the party train, they also expressed joy over the development.

An APC member, Alhaja Maimunat Muhomodu, expressed joy and advised the people of Edo state to support and be patient with the state governor.

She said: “I feel so glad and thank Almighty God for this victory.

“Even before the governor was declared winner by the tribunal, he had been working.

“I know that he will now work more for the people.

“My advice to the residents of Edo State is that they should be patient with the governor and support him in order for him to take us to the next level.”

A resident, Mr. Julius Udeh, who commended the governor for his achievements so far, also urged him to improve on his work.

He said: “I am very happy about today’s victory. I am very proud of APC. I know they won the election and nobody can change it.

“Governor Obaseki is really working for the progress of the state and everybody can testify to that.

“My advice to the governor is that he should step up his work now and continue to work like his predecessor.”

The Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led tribunal had dismissed the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as lacking merit.

Badamasi held that the petitioners failed on all fronts to prove the allegations pleaded in their petitions.

“The petitioners have failed to prove their case with credible evidence and the petition is therefore dismissed,” he said.

The tribunal held that while the petitioners abandoned some of their pleadings, “witnesses’ evidences were controverted under cross examination.”

“The much-talked-about ticking and over-voting have not been specifically proved beyond reasonable doubt, and not calling witnesses to prove their allegations of corrupt practices and over-voting was fatal to their case as it is deemed that they have abandoned their pleadings,” he explained.

Justice Badamasi therefore held that the petitioners had failed to prove their case with credible evidence to show that they were entitled to their pleadings before dismissing the petition.

The petitioners, Pastor Ize-Iyamu Osagie and PDP had listed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Godwin Obaseki and APC as first, second and third respondents respectively.

They had asked the tribunal to nullify the election of Obaseki and declare Ize-Iyamu as the winner instead, having scored majority of the lawful votes cast, among other reliefs.

They averred that INEC was wrong to declare Obaseki the winner of the Sept 28 gubernatorial election, adding that the election was fraught with corrupt practices and over-voting.

The petitioners asked the tribunal to rule that Governor Obaseki was not duly elected by lawful votes cast and declare Pastor Ize-Iyamu winner for scoring the highest number of lawful votes cast.

In the alternative, the petitioners sought an order that the governorship election of September 28 be nullified and a fresh election ordered.

Reacting to the judgment yesterday, Governor Obaseki described it as victory for Edo people and an act that would spur him to do more.

In his own reaction, former Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, described the petition as a busy body petition.

His words: “The PDP has no case, Pastor Ize-Iyamu has no case.

“The reason we have people going to court for no reason is because there is no cost.

“I think the Electoral Act should be amended so that if you bring such a frivolous case and didn’t make sufficient efforts to show that you were cheated, you just do it out of fun, there should be sufficient cost to applicant who tried to abuse the court processes.

“This was just as mama akara looking for trouble.

“In other jurisdictions, when you go to court on a non-issue, you pay the cost of litigation and that serves as a deterrent.

“I know that our people will not vote PDP and they can never vote PDP.

“People can say whatever they say about the judiciary; the judiciary has shown it has men and women of courage and character.

“This was a busy body petition and we thank God that justice had been done.”

The Speaker of Edo State House of Assemby, Hon Justin Okonobor, urged the opposition parties to learn to accept defeat and congratulate the winner of an election.

Former Minority Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon Samson Osagie, congratulated the governor and the APC for the legal victory.

Osagie urged all party supporters to join hands with the governor and the party to drive development in the state.

His words: “This victory should serve as cushion to all frail nerves and a catalyst for the administration to embark on the continuation of its well thought out development agenda for Edo State.

“It is time to work together in the interest of the State irrespective of political or ideological differences. After all a better Edo State is for the benefit of all.”

This post first appeared on Chrisblend, please read the originial post: here

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Jubilation in Edo as tribunal affirms Obaseki’s electoral victory


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