The Court of Appeal, sitting in Benin, Friday, reaffirmed Godwin Obaseki as validly elected Governor of Edo State in the September 28 gubernarorial election in the State, as pronounced by the State Election Petition Tribunal.
The Appellate Court in its judgements read by the a lead Judge, Hon. Justice Dogban Mensen, which lasted less than 10 minutes, said the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led Tribunal did a pain staking job in its judgement, and so deserve commendation.
The Court therefore struck out the appeals of the appellants, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
It would be recalled that the PDP and Ize-Iyamu alleged that the Tribunal erred and truncated their (appellants) right to fair hearings by the unequal treatment given to the cases of the parties, “by first finding fault, discrediting, disbelieving and dismissing their petition before considering at all and reviewing the testimonies of the witnesses of the respondents and, thus, occasioning a miscarriage of justice.”
They also told the Court of Appeal that the Tribunal also erred in law and truncated their right to fair hearing where, in consideration of their case, it failed “totally” to consider and make any pronouncement on the issue concerning, “whether the second respondent was duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast” in the election “and if not, whether the first petitioner (Ize-Iyamu) is not entitled to be returned as the Governor of Edo State.”
Meanwhile, Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Edo State, on Friday dismissed the Cross Appeal filed by Governor Obaseki and the All Progressive Congress (APC) against a ruling of the state election petitions tribunal.
Obaseki and the APC had challenged the refusal of Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led panel to strike some paragraphs in a petition filed by the PDP and its candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu.
In its four grounds of cross appeal, Governor Obaseki and the APC contended that the trial erred in law when it held that “the whole essence of the application is to defeat the intendment of the petition through technical process, it is premature at this stage to consider striking out paragraph 17 – 753 and we so hold”
Among the reliefs sought by the cross appellants are an order of the appellate court to allow the cross appeal, an order granting their motion on notice dated and filed on November 30, 2016 by striking out paragraph 16(1) of the petition touching on corrupt practices and all other paragraphs of the petition, in which allegations of corrupt practices are pleaded including paragraphs 17 – 753.
They contended that the Tribunal breached the cross appellants’ constitutional right to fair hearing when it failed to adequately consider all the issues raised and submitted before it.
Justice Mohammed Mustapha, who read the judgment, described the cross appeal as a sheer waste of time.