THE Justice Yunusa Musa-led three-member Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Benin, Edo State yesterday commenced hearing in thE remaining four petitions against the reelection of Governor Godwin Obaseki for a second term as governor of Edo state.
The four remaining petitions were filed by Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its governorship candidate, Iboi Emmanuel; Action Peoples Party (APP), without joining its governorship candidate, Amos Areloegbe; Allied Peoples Movement (APM), excluding its governorship candidate, Igbineweka Osamuede, and Tracy Agol, without joining her political party, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). The tribunal had last year In a unanimous ruling dismissed the petition by Action Alliance (AA) and its governorship candidate, Ukonga Onaivi, against Obaseki, PDP, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for failing to file pre-hearing notice.
The four petitions are seeking the nullification of the September 19 re-election of Obaseki and his deputy (Shaibu), while calling for fresh election by INEC, but to exclude PDP, Obaseki, and his running mate, in view of the call for their disqualification over alleged forgery of their certificates. The Federal High Court in Abuja last Saturday dismissed the University of Ibadan’s (UI’s) forgery and perjury suit against Obaseki by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and one of its chieftains, Williams Edobor.
The petitions of APP and Agol were heard at yesterday’s sitting, with hearing in the petitions to be concluded today (Tuesday), while APM’s petition would also be heard today, with only two days allowed for the petitioner to present all the witnesses and to also be cross-examined, as agreed upon, during the pre-hearing sittings. The last petition, from ADP, would be heard tomorrow (Wednesday), with the petitioner also have two days to call all the witnesses that would be immediately cross-examined by counsel to the respondents.