Edo State Local Government Appeal Tribunal, sitting in Benin City, has dismissed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) petition seeking the disqualification of two judges for lack of merit.
The PDP had, in a motion directed the disqualification of Justice Esther Edigin and Justice J. I Acha from membership of the state local government election tribunal.
In a unanimous judgment, read by Justice Esther Edigin yesterday, she said the allegations of bias or likelihood of bias preferred against the two judges were “ in all ramifications a case of gambling and attempt to blackmail the two judges who do not have the right of reply.’’
It said there was nowhere the issue of grievance or animosity flows in the matter for consideration in the court entertaining the disputed Esan North East Council election declared in favour of All Progressive candidate (APC) Candidate, Samuel Oboh by the Edo State Independent electoral commission (EDSIEC) last year.
The judge held that lenient applicants cross appeals could not have warranted the petitions written by the PDP to the National Judicial council (NJC) and Edo State Chief Judge, Justice Cromwell Idahosa seeking their disqualification.
The court maintained that the motion on notice filed by Ighodalo Imadegbelo (SAN), counsel to cross appellant dated 31St March 2014, raising issues pointing on the personal probity, lives of the two judges constituting the panel on ground of bias or prejudice, was targeted to “cover the eyes of the two judges concerned with the dust of the conflict between the parties and the appeal’’.