July 21, 2024

Election Tribunal: LP Floors PDP, APC, Affirms Osaro, Omoruyi Winners… “Petitioners Merely Dumped Documents on Us Without Any ‘Probative’ Value”

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By Reporter

The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City, yesterday September 7, 2023, dismissed the petitions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and affirmed the election of Mr. Omoruyi Osaro for the Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency and Mr. Iyawe Aisosa for Oredo Federal Constituency, both of the Labour Party (LP).

In a unanimous Judgement by the three-member panel, led by Justice O. A. Chijioke, the tribunal dismissed the petitions of the candidates of the PDP’s, Mr. Okhuarobo Henry and that of APC’s Mr. Crosby Eribo for lack of merit.

The tribunal held that the two petitioners failed to prove a case of non-compliance with the electoral act, corrupt practices and non-qualification allegations against the LP candidate. Their cases were therefore dismissed.

“We hold that the petitioners failed to prove any of the grounds raised in the petitions and the petitions are hereby dismissed for lack of merits, ‘’ Justice Chijioke who delivered the judgement said.

The petitioners, Henry and Eribo had approached the tribunal to challenge the election of Osaro on the grounds that he was not qualified to contest for the election.

They both argued non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022 in the conduct of the election, as well as allegation of dual-nationality of Osaro.

The Tribunal resolved all the grounds and averred that the petitioners merely dumped documents on the tribunal without any probative value.

Eribo had alleged that the LP candidate was a citizen of the U.S and his standing for election negated Section 77 of the Electoral Act, 2022 as well as Section 66 of the Constitution of Nigeria.

He also contended that Osaro was not validly nominated by the LP for the election, which by inference meant that the LP had no candidate in the election.

On the other hand, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in that election, Osamuede and PDP, challenged the outcome of the election contending that the victory of Omoruyi for Egor/Ikpoba Okha Federal Constituency.

Osamuede contended that the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices, non-compliance with requirements of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended and that the first respondent, Murphy, was not qualified to contest the election as he was not a member of the 3rd respondent, the Labour Party.

While dismissing Osamede’s petition, the tribunal ruled that, the petitioners did not prove any of the grounds of the petition.

Both petitions were dismissed for lack of merit.

likewise, the Tribunal also dismissed the petition of Mr. Sunday Aguebor and his party, PDP against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Iyawe Aisosa – candidate of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives election for Oredo Federal Constituency, for lack of merit.

The petitioner alleged non-compliance with the Electoral Act – 2022 as amended. In dismissing Aguebor’s petition, the Tribunal held that Aguebor and PDP failed to prove the allegations of noncompliance with statistics from unit and ward level.

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