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No respite for Obaseki as Tribunal continues hearing on petitions


Oba Darasimi

It is not yet Uhuru for  Governor Godwin Obaseki as his legal battle is far from over as the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Monday began hearing on the four remaining petitions filed against his re-election at the September 19, 2020 election.

Obaseki who last Saturday won the suit instituted against him by the All Progressive Congress over his certificate still has some questions to answer regarding his last election.

The Tribunal had earlier on December 11, 2020 dismissed a petition by the Action Alliance (AA) and its governorship candidate, Ukonga Onaivi, for falling to file a pre-hearing notice.

However, the Justice Yunusa Musa-led three-member tribunal continued sitting on Monday in Benin, the Edo State capital on the four remaining petitions.

The remaining petitions were filed by Action Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Iboi Emmanuel; Action Peoples Party, without joining its governorship candidate, Amos Areloegbe; Allied Peoples Movement, excluding its governorship candidate, Igbineweka Osamuede, and Tracy Agol, without joining her political party, the New Nigeria Peoples Party.

The petitions are praying the tribunal to cancel the September 19 election in the state and order another election that will exclude Obaseki, his deputy, Phillip Shuaibu and their party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

The tribunal had on Monday heard the petitions of APP and Agol, with the hearing to be concluded today, Tuesday, while that of APM would also be heard today and concluded on Wednesday.

ADP, whose petition would be heard on Wednesday also, has two days to call all their witnesses, with the witnesses cross-examined immediately by the counsel to the respondents.

William Edibor of APC has had the certificate suit against the Governor dismissed by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Saturday.

Obaseki has entered into several political battles since he severed  relationship with his erstwhile godfather Adams Oshiomole and quit the APC last year and there seems to be no end yet to such tussle

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