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Tribunal affirms Oshiomhole’s victory

23 January 2013, 16:15

Edo - The Edo Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin on Wednesday affirmed the victory of Adams Oshiomhole in the July 14, 2012 governorship election.

The tribunal's Chairman, Justice Mauzu Pindinga, dismissed retired Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere’s petition for lack of merit.

The tribunal said that the petition was devoid of any substance and ought to be dismissed.

Pindinga held that the petitioner failed to establish any evidence as the witnesses called were unable to substantiate the allegation of electoral fraud in the July 14, 2012 election.

He said that what was not contestable was that the first respondent, Oshiomhole had two-third majority of the votes cast.

The three-man tribunal, therefore, upheld the victory of Oshiomhole and dismissed Airhiavbere’s petition for lack of merit.

The tribunal awarded a cost of N150,000 against the petitioner.

Oshiomhole in his reaction, described the judgment as victory for the people and promised that it was a further reaffirmation of its desire and determination to provide the people of the state with the dividend of his victory

The PDP governorship candidate, Airhiavbere, had earlier filed the petition alleging that the July 14, 2012 election was fraught with electoral irregularities.

The petitioner joined ACN, INEC, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner and INEC returning officer as co-respondent defendants in his petition.

Before the commencement of the trial the PDP filed an application for its name to be struck out as co-respondent /petitioner.

The Supreme Court had on Jan. 11 dismissed the ruling of an Appeal Court, and upheld the decision of the lower tribunal, which earlier struck out Airhiavbere’s allegation on the non qualification in his petition.

The tribunal had earlier disqualified itself from hearing the aspect of the non-qualification of a candidate in the petition, arguing that the issue was a pre-election matter, which only the regular court could entertain.

But, Airhiavbere filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, which upturned the tribunal’s ruling and whose verdict Gov. Oshiomhole challenged at the Supreme Court.

NAN

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