BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN – THE Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Edo State, headed by Justice Suleiman Ambursa, yesterday, struck out the paragraphs in the petition by governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the July 14, 2012 governorship election in the state, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), in which he had challenged the educational qualification of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, to contest the election.
The tribunal, meanwhile, over-ruled Oshiomhole’s argument that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition, adding that it would go ahead to hear the complaints of electoral malpractices contained in the petition against Oshiomhole by Airhiavbere.
The tribunal held that the issue of Oshiomhole’s educational qualification was a pre- election, matter which the petitioner (Airhiavbere) ought to have contested before a Federal High or a state high court prior to the governorship election.
Justice Ambursa said the tribunal decided to strike out paragraphs 4, 12, 13, 24 and 25 in the petition because they all had to do with whether Oshiomhole was qualified to contest the election or not, adding: “In my view, the facts pleaded by the petitioner in paragraph 4 of the petition challenging the qualification of the first respondent to contest the election, petitioner embarked on a wild goose chase because the issue is a pre-election matter.”