Airhiavbere vs Oshiomhole: S-Court slates Friday for judgment

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By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA—The Supreme Court, yesterday, adjourned till Friday to determine whether it will be proper to compel Governor Adams Oshiomohole of Edo State to prove the authenticity of his educational qualifications before the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in the state.

A seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court fixed the date for judgment after they heard two separate appeals that were filed by Oshiomohole, who is challenging the verdict of an Appeal Court sitting in Benin.

The appellate court had in its judgment on an application  by candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the July 14, 2012, governorship election in Edo State, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd.), ordered a retrial of the petition querying Oshiomhole’s primary and modern school qualifications.

PDP candidate had contended  that Governor Oshiomohole was not eligible ab-initio to contest both the 2007 and 2012 gubernatorial elections, insisting that the certificates he (Oshiomohole) used to secure clearance from Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, were bogus.

Airhiavbere argued that Oshiomhole was not eligible to contest the election on grounds of his academic qualification, as provided for in the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution.

Though the Tribunal led by Justice Suleiman Ambrusa, had in a judgment it delivered on September 27, dismissed the contention of the petitioner as baseless, however, the appellate court, on November 15, 2012, maintained that PDP candidate’s application had merit and should be heard de-novo (afresh).

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