The Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin on Monday dismissed a petition filed by the Action Democratic Party (ADP) against Governor Godwin Obaseki.
ADP and its governorship candidate, Iboi Lucky, had earlier instituted a petition challenging the outcome of the September 19 governorship election that brought in Godwin Obaseki of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as governor of Edo State.
The petitioners predicated their petition on the grounds that Obaseki was not qualified to contest the election for allegedly submitting a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). They also argued that he (Obaseki) was guilty of double nomination sponsorship.
In a unanimous judgement read by Justice Suleiman Abubakar, a member of the three-man tribunal, dismissed the petitions, saying that the petitioners have not been able to prove their claims with credible evidences.
The tribunal held that “In our view, there is no evidence of testimony that establishes his certificate was forged. Based on the evidence before us, the petitioners have not been able to prove that Obaseki presented forged documents to INEC.
“It is our considered view that the petitioners have not established a case of double nomination to disqualify Obaseki from contesting the poll.
“In light of the foregoing, we consider that he is educated upto school certificate level and he is qualified to contest the election. The petition is hereby dismissed in its entirety, and Godwin Obaseki is hereby affirmed by the tribunal”.
The respondents in the petition are governor Godwin Obaseki, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Osagie Ize-iyamu, APC governorship candidate.
Meanwhile, as of the time of filing this report, judgements on petitions filed by the Action Peoples Party (APP), Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) against Obaseki were still pending.