By GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN—A Benin High Court yesterday disqualified the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDSIEC, from conducting elections into the 18 local government councils in the state, saying that the commission was not properly constituted by the current administration in the state.
Although elections into the grassroots government was scheduled to be held in December this year, it was gathered, Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, said that the state government had already appealed the judgment.
“We have already filed our notice of appeal immediately. We are appealing against the ruling”, he said in a telephone conversation with journalists.
The judgment of the Court by Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga, was in the case filed by former members of the Commission, Mrs. Caroline Ewohinmi, Robert Oghafuoso, Saliu Jeremiah, Friday Ojo and Eric Uhunmwangho, against the state governor, the Attorney General of Edo State, the state House of Assembly and the eight members of the reconstituted commission headed by Solomon Aigbuoibo Ogoh .
She also granted the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs which included that their dissolution was wrong as they were constituted on June 20, 2007 and their tenure should have elapsed on June 19 2012.
They also prayed the court to hold that they remained members of the commission until the expiration of their tenure just as they said the appointment of Ogoh and others as head and members of the commission was unconstitutional since their tenure was still running.
Besides, the court also set aside the appointment of the new members into the commission and further directed that all their arrears of salaries, allowances and other financial entitlements during the period of their removal be paid.