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EDO GUBER TUSSLE: Appeal Court reserves judgement on Ize-Iyamu versus Obaseki indefinitely



Tribunal verdict: As Edo waits with bated breath

The Appeal Court sitting in Benin, the Edo State capital, has reserved judgement on an application by candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu sine die.

The appellate court failed to give a date to deliver its judgement on the matter.

PDP and Ize-Iyamu had approached the court challenging why the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin would stop the recounting of the ballot papers used in some local governments in the September 28, 2016 governorship election midway.

The appellants had requested that the tribunal recounted in the open court, ballot papers used in four councils namely Egor, Akoko-Edo, Estako West and Estako East, to prove that they were robbed of victory in the last governorship election in the state.

But after three of the four councils had been counted, Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led three-man tribunal instructed that the counting be stopped.

It said its reason for the stoppage of the recounting was because the petitioners’ statutory 14-day period to prove their case had elapsed.

Buhari Sani, the assistant secretary to the tribunal, in a report he released, showed that it was only in wards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Etsako West, wards 1 and 2 in Akoko-Edo and ward 1 of Egor councils, recounting was concluded.

Read also: There’ll be no PDP if Supreme Court upholds Sheriff’s chairmanship –Makarfi

Following this development, the petitioners approached the Appeal Court seeking for the conclusion of the recounting and claimed that the stoppage of the recounting would be fatal to their case.

But the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Godwin Obaseki opposed the application by Ize-Iyamu and PDP, praying the court to dismiss it.

When the case came up on Thursday, the appellant court reserved judgments in the matter sine die, that is, it did not give a date on which it will deliver judgement.

The Appeal Court also reserved ruling in the cross appeal by the third respondent, the APC, asking why the tribunal in the first place harkened to the petitioners by ordering recounting of the ballot papers used for the election in four of the councils.


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