The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City, Edo State has affirmed the victory of Governor Adams Oshiomole at the July 14, 2012 Governorship election. The tribunal threw out the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Gen Charles Airhiavbere for want of evidence.
While reading the tribunal’s ruling, Justice Muazu Pindige disclosed that the petitioner failed to prove that the election did not comply with the provisions of the electoral act.
On the issue of illegal amendment and manipulation of the voters’ register, multiple voting as well as harassment of voters, alleged by the petitioner, the tribunal’s Chairman made it known that “the allegations of commission of crime must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. To what extent has the petitioner been able to establish that new and altered voters’ register were used. The petitioner failed to prove the allegation and could not produce evidence of the altered voters register used. Pleadings or petition without evidence cannot be relied on.”
The tribunal also made it known that the petitioner did not tender any Form EC8 A to buttress his claims of anomalies in the filing of the said form.
“In totality, the petitioner has failed to prove his elaborate allegations which turns out to be a sham. We hold that the first respondent won the election based on the result declared by the second respondent, winning in the eighteen local government areas of the state, while the petitioner did not win in any local government, including his own ward. There was no infraction of the electoral Act warranting us to void the elections of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole”, the tribunal stated.
Speaking on the overall presentation of the petition, Justice Pindiga said “if there was a petition starved of evidence, this is certainly one. Judges cannot perform miracles or conjure evidence. The petition is bereft of any evidence and devoid of substance.”
A cost of N 150,000 was also awarded against the petitioner.