By Patrick Ochoga, Benin City
The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City to hear Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and People’s Democratic Party (PDP’s) Appeal against the Election Petition Tribunal Judgement on the September 26 election passed judgement on Friday, upholding the declaration of Governor Godwin Obaseki of All Progressives Congress (APC) as Governor of Edo.
Counsels to both parties had argued their briefs on May 30 this year, where Obaseki’s counsel, led by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the Appeal, saying that the grounds of the appeal were watery.
Striking out the appeal, the court, led by Hon. Justice Dongban-Mensen, ruled that the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led Tribunal did a pain-staking job in its judgement, and so deserved commendation, adding that the Tribunal should be commended for properly evaluating all the witnesses’ evidence and ascribing “probative value” to it.
It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the All Progressives Congress candidate, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki as the winner of the September 28, 2016 governorship election and the appellants had alleged that the Tribunal judges erred and truncated their right to a fair hearing by giving unequal treatment to the parties involved.
The Appeal Court, meanwhile, also held that the PDP, from the evidence-led, did not prove their case to warrant the nullification of the election or a declaration of Pastor Ize-Iyamu as the winner.