…Edo govt hails verdict
By Osaigbovo Iguobaro
The Court of Appeal, sitting in Benin has upheld the ruling of the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal against the Action Democratic Party (ADP), which reaffirmed the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki at the 2020 governorship election.
The Judgement comes barely two months after the Elections Petitions Tribunal struck out the petition by the ADP and its governorship candidate, Iboi Lucky, challenging the outcome of the September 19, 2020 governorship election, which returned Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as governor of Edo State.
The Appeal Court, delivering the judgement in the case marked CA/B/EPT/GOV/01 & 1A/2021 Action Democratic Party & Anor v. INEC & 2Ors, held that Obaseki did not forge his certificates with which he contested the 2020 governorship election, dismissing the appeal filed by the ADP and its Candidate.
In another case marked /B/EPT/GOV/02/2021 Action Peoples Party (APP) Vs Godwin N. Obaseki & 2Ors., the Court unanimously upheld the Judgment of the Tribunal and dismissed the Appeal with costs assessed at N600,000 each, on two different counts, as the governor won all eight issues for determination in the appeal.
Delivering the judgement in favour of the governor, the Presiding Justice, Hon. Justice M.A. Owoade, dismissed the main appeal, the preliminary objection and the cross appeal.
The Judge noted that the inclusion of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its Candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as respondents in the petition, was a ploy by Ize-Iyamu to fight his case through another petitioner, describing it as a case of ‘squeezing the rock for water’.
Reacting to the judgement, Edo State deputy governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, thanked the jurists for being courageous with the legal teams and Edo people for their prayers.
“My joy is that, first to thank God, the judges for being courageous and also thank our legal teams and Edo people for their prayers.
“They boast with their powers. Go to the streets, hold meetings and boast that the court is in their pockets.
“These judges, have showed that the judiciary are not just independent but we have courageous judges that will deliver justice just as they have done today”, he said.