Tribunal Yet To Deliver Judgment On Edo Governorship Poll

The Edo States Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal will on Friday deliver judgement in the petition brought before it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Parties in the suit were on Wednesday informed about the tribunal’s decision to deliver judgment on the matter.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu is asking the tribunal to declare him winner of the September 28, 2016 governorship election which was won by Governor Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Respondents in the suit were Governor Obaseki, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC.

Hearing of the petition by the three-man tribunal headed by Justice Ahmed Badamasi began on January 7 and ended on April 3.

During the course of trial, the petitioners called 92 witnesses while Governor Obaseki called 68 witnesses.

The APC called 15 witnesses and INEC did not call any.

Counsel to INEC, Onyinye Anumonye, argued that there was no need to call witnesses that would repair the case already damaged by the petitioners’ witnesses.

Onyinye, however, tendered 203 documents including 200 copies of Form EC8(B) for the 18 local government areas, one copy of Form EC8(C) for the 18 LGAs of the state, Form EC8(D) for Edo State and Form EC8(E).

The petitioners tendered the voters’ register from 16 local government areas as well as the Forms EC8A, Form EC8B and EC8C, being results sheets for all the polling units, wards and local government areas of the state.

 

Source: |The Nation

 

Edo Polls: Obaseki Opens Defence Thursday As INEC

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, will on Thursday open his defence at the ongoing hearing of the petition filed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the People’s Democratic Party at the Election Petition Tribunal.

Governor Obaseki will have ten days to call witnesses and prove to the tribunal why Pastor Ize-Iyamu should not be declared winner of the September 28 governorship election.

This is is just the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday the closed its defense before the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led three man tribunal without calling any witness.

It however tendered 203 documents to prove its case.

The documents tendered by INEC as exhibits before the tribunal included 200 copies of Form EC8(B) for the 18 Local Government Areas, one copy of Form EC8(C) for the 18 LGAs of the state, Form EC8(D) for Edo state and Form EC8(E).

Counsel to INEC, Onyinye Anumonye, also tendered a document titled “supplementary to the 2015 guidelines and regulations for the conduct of the election”.

Anumonye informed the tribunal that no witness would be called over what he termed ‘to merely repeat the evidence already elicited under cross examination.’

According to him, “having carefully and calmly revealed the evidence presented so far, it is our humble position that the first respondent has through the process of cross examination of petitioners witnesses which statement under cross examination support the first respondent case particularly documents tendered as exhibits.

“The first respondent has sufficiently established its defense to the petition and we therefore consider it as unnecessary waste of the tribunal precious time to call witnesses who would merely come to repeat evidence we have already elicited under cross examination. The first respondent has decided to spare the tribunal that ordeal. What I have been trying to say in a very few words is that this is the case for the first respondent”, he said.

When Counsel to Obaseki, Ken Mozia SAN, was called upon to open defence for the second respondents, he prayed the tribunal to adjourn till Thursday to enable him organise his witnesses.

The Tribunal chairman ruled that the defence of the 1st respondent was closed, and adjourned sitting till Thursday for the 2rd respondent to open his defence.

 

Source: The Nation

Edo polls: Tribunal Releases Results Of Recounted Ballot Papers

The Edo State Election Petitions Tribunal has released results of the recounted ballot papers used for the September 28 governorship election.

In its ruling on February 9, 2017, the three-man tribunal headed by Justice Ahmed Badamasi granted the prayers of the People’s Democratic Party and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu by ordering the recount of ballot papers in Egor, Akoko-Edo, Etsako West and Etsako East local government areas.

The APC won in all the four local government areas where the ballot papers were recounted.

However, the ballot papers which held for two days could not be concluded following the expiration of the period given to the petitioners to prove their cases.

From the results released, only eight wards were counted in three local government areas while no ballot papers were recounted in Estako East local government.

In the report signed by the Assistant Secretary to the tribunal, Buhari Sani, and given to parties in the case, the recounting exercise was concluded in Wards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Etsako West Local Government Area, Wards 1 and 2 in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area and Ward 1 of Egor Local Government Area.

The recounting from Estako West showed that Ward 1 had 1,281 votes, Ward 2 had 1,542 votes, Ward 3 had 1,490 votes, Ward 4 had 1,994 and Ward 5 had 3,025 votes.

In Akoko-Edo, Ward 1 had a total of 3,206 and Ward 2 had a total of 3,849 votes.

The only ward counted in Egor local government had 3,217 votes.

Sani said the recounting stopped at 1pm by the tribunal on the application of Counsel to the Governor Godwin Obaseki.

The tribunal resumes sitting on Friday with INEC opening its defense of the case.

Edo Guber; Tribunal INEC’S Delay in Calling Withnesses

The Edo Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin on Tuesday decried the failure of Mr Onyinye Anunonye, counsel to the Independent National electoral commission(INEC) to call witnesses in its defence in a petition before it.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, its candidate in the Sept. 28 governorship election, in their petition, are challenging the declaration by INEC of Mr Godwin Obaseki as the winner of the election.

The petitioners had named the INEC, Obaseki and the APC as first, second and third respondents respectively in the petition. INEC had declared Obaseki winner of the Edo governorship election after he polled 319,483 votes to defeat Ize-Iyamu, his closest rival, who scored 250,000 votes.

The petitioners are alleging that the said election was fraught with electoral fraud in some units and wards in the 18 local government areas of the state. They are asking the tribunal to declare Ize-Iyamu as the winner from the valid votes cast.

The petitioners closed their case on Friday after calling 91 witnesses and tendered used ballot papers, results and voter register before the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led three-member election petition tribunal.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Anunonye informed the tribunal that he could not open his defence, saying he had no witnesses to call in the case. Shortly after announcing his appearance, Anunonye said “I know the tribunal adjourned till today for us to open our defence. Unfortunately, we have challenges.

“The first is the scheduling of time of the senior counsel in the case for the first respondent which makes it impossible for any of them to be here today.

“And the second and the most important is the challenge of logistics which has made it impossible for any of our witnesses to be in court.”

He explained that many of the witnesses were former NYSC members who had passed out and who resided outside Benin, adding “we have sent them text messages.

“But we have not been able to meet with them to interact and streamline our witnesses to be called in other to present a defence for the respondent.