The Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Friday commenced sitting in Benin on the petitions filed by political parties challenging the declaration of Governor Godwin Obaseki as the winner of the September 19, 2020 governorship poll in the state.
Obaseki, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, having secured the highest number of votes cast.
The political parties seeking to nullify Obaseki’s victory include Action Democratic Party, Action Peoples Party, Action Alliance, Allied Peoples Movement and New Nigeria Peoples Party.
At the resumed sitting, the Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Abdulrazaq Abdulkareem, expressed commitment to attending to the five petitions before it within the stipulated time.
Abdulkareem solicited for cooperation from all parties and counsel, assuring that the tribunal would perform its duties without prejudice for any party.
He said: “We wish to assure you that in our quest to get to the truth of the matters before us, we shall act in good faith and do our work with open mind, without any form of bias or appearance of any preconception.
“We also pledge not to lend ourselves to any form of external influence.”
Speaking on behalf of the counsel, Ken Mozia (SAN), assured the tribunal of their cooperation, promising that they would do their best to file their applications within the specified time.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during the sitting, the petitioners sought for ex parte motion for substituted means of service against their respective respondents.
NAN also reports that the tribunal Chairman granted their orders and adjourned till December 7 for pre-hearing process.
in a related development, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), has challenged the victory of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress at the Ondo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.
This was made known as Friday.
Joined in the petition are the Independent National Electoral Commission; Deputy Governor-elect, Lucky Aiyedatiwa; and the APC.
The lead counsel to Jegede, Ifedayo Adedipe said the PDP candidate went to court on four grounds.
Adedipe said the election was marred by irregularities, violence and intimidation of eligible voters.
He also faulted the emergence of Akeredolu as the governorship candidate of the APC, claiming that the primary election that produced him as the governorship candidate of the APC fell short of standard.