The Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin on Monday upheld the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki in last year’s governorship election in the state.
The three-member panel led by Justice Yunusa Musa dismissed all the petitions challenging Obaseki’s victory in the election held on September 19, 2020.
Five political parties filed the petitions and asked the panel to quash the governor’s victory at the poll.
The petitioners included Action Democratic Party, Action Peoples Party (APP), Action Alliance (AA), Allied Peoples Movement, and Agol Tracy, the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
In a unanimous judgment, the tribunal dismissed the petitions for lack of merit.
Justice Musa, who read the judgment, held that the petitioners could not substantiate their claims.
He said: “The petitioners have a duty to prove their allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
“There is no evidence of testimony that establishes the certificate is forged.
“The witnesses called never visited the school to confirm the genuineness of the certificate.”
The tribunal, therefore, upheld the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaration of Obaseki as the winner of the election.
It awarded the sum of N200,000 each to INEC, Obaseki, and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu, against the APM.
Some of the petitions were predicated on the controversial degree result allegedly submitted to INEC by the governor.
The AA and APP’s petitions were, however, based on the allegations that they were unlawfully excluded from the poll.
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