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Tribunal affirms Obaseki’s victory in Edo governorship poll

...Shaibu hails verdicts

The Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Monday affirmed the victory of Godwin Obaseki in the September 19 governorship poll in the state.

All petitions filed against Obaseki of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were also dismissed by the three-man tribunal led by Justice Yunusa Musa.

Five political parties filed several petitions against Obaseki’s declaration as winner of the Edo State governorship election conducted in September last year by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Delivering judgement on Monday in Benin, the tribunal unanimously dismissed all petitions filed by the aggrieved parties for lack of merit.

The three-man panel led by Justice Yunusa Musa held that the petitioners could not substantiate their respective claims.

The tribunal equally awarded the sum of N200,000 each in favour of INEC, Godwin Obaseki, and Philip Shaibu against one of the petitioners, Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

“The petitioner has a duty to prove their allegations beyond reasonable doubts. There is no evidence of testimony that establish the certificate is forged. The witness called never visited the school to confirm the genuineness of the certificate,” the tribunal stated.

The petitioners included Action Democratic Party (ADP), Action Peoples Party (APP), Action Alliance (AA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and Agol Tracy without joining her party, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

They predicated their cases on the basis of controversial degree result submitted alongside nomination and expression of interest forms to INEC by the governor for the purpose of the election, and claims of unlawful exclusion from the poll.

The respondents in the various petitions are Governor Godwin Obaseki, his deputy Philip Shaibu, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, APC governorship candidate.

Reacting, Deputy Governor Shaibu said the judgment has reaffirmed the verdict of Edo people.

“I want to thank God, and also thank the courageous justices for this judgement. For us, it is all about justice which we have gotten today,” he said.

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