By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
The Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Saturday, dismissed the petition filed by Action Alliance (AA) party challenging the exclusion of the party and its candidate from the September 19 2020 governorship election in Edo state in a unanimous ruling delivered by the tribunal.
It would be recalled that at the sitting of the tribunal on Monday, counsel to Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the petitioner failed to file for issuance of pre-hearing notice which is one of the conditions required by the Electoral Act 2010 and the tribunal consequently adjourned to Friday, December 11( today), for ruling.
Delivering the ruling, Justice Chukwudi Nwakwo alongside the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Abdulrazak Abdulkareem, and the third judge, Justice Josephine Ayua held that in the petition against the first and second respondents, the petitioners failed to file the pre-hearing notice.
As a result he ruled that the petitioners were deemed to have abandoned the petition and, thereafter, dismissed the suit.
The petition is one of five filed by various individuals and their political parties at the Tribunal in their bid to nullify the victory of Governor Obaseki in the poll.
Others include the petition of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its governorship candidate, Emmanuel Iboi, against INEC, PDP, Governor Obaseki, as well as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu; and the petition of the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) against INEC, PDP, Governor Obaseki, and his deputy, Philip Shaibu.
The remaining two petitions are that of Agol Ebun Tracy against INEC, PDP and Governor Obaseki, and the petition of the Action Peoples Party (APP) against Governor Obaseki, PDP, and INEC.