By Kunle Olasanmi, Abuja
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the 2016 governorship election that brought into office Governor Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo State.
In a unanimous decision of the seven-man panel headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, the apex court dismissed the appeal filed by Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state’s 2016 governorship election for lacking in merit.
The apex court court panel held that both the interlocutory and main Appeal Ize-Iyamu lodged before it lacked merit.
“We appreciate the bench of this court, the records of this appeal before us were gone through over and over and we have no doubt at all in this judgement.
“This appeal is devoid of merit and is accordingly dismissed” the apex court held.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court said it would on July 24, give reasons why it validated the election of Obaseki who emerged on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in the September 28, 2016 governorship election.
It could be recalled that the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, the Edo State capital had upheld the ruling of the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld Governor Godwin Obaseki as the duly elected governor of the state.
The Appellate threw out the appeal filed by Ize-Iyamu, challenging the Tribunal’s ruling.
INEC had declared Obaseki, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the September 28, 2016, governorship poll.
But Ize-Iyamu and his party the PDP approached the Tribunal to upturn INEC declaration. Failure to achieve this, they went further to the Appeal Court to upturn the election results.
But the five-man panel, led by Justice M. B. Dongban Mensem, returned the same verdict, that Obaseki was duly elected, and dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.
The appellate court, in a unanimous judgement read by Justice M. O. Bolaji-Yusuf, said the tribunal did a “thorough” consideration of the issues raised by the appellants.
It added, “We have considered all the issues and, at the end, we found that the conclusion of the tribunal, as has been shown, is unassailable.
“The tribunal carried out a painstaking, detailed and thorough consideration of all aspects of the appellants’ case; it deserves commendation.
“Having resolved the issues identified against the appellants, we find this unmeritorous. It is, hereby, dismissed. Each party shall bear his or her own cost.”