The Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin City, the state capital, has dismissed the petition filed by the Action Alliance (AA) and another against Governor Godwin Obaseki’s re-election.
The tribunal dismissed the suit challenging Governor Obaseki’s victory in the September poll in a unanimous ruling delivered on Thursday.
Justice Chukwudi Nwakwo delivered the ruling in the presence of the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Abdulrazak Abdulkareem, and the third judge, Justice Josephine Ayua.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the platform on which Governor Obaseki sought re-election, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which declared the governor as the winner, were joined as respondents to the petition.
When the case was called, the counsel to the petitioners, Steven Osaigbovo, was not present in court.
In its ruling, the tribunal held that in the petition against the first and second respondents, the petitioners failed to file the pre-hearing notice.
As a result, it ruled that the petitioners were deemed to have abandoned the petition and, thereafter, dismissed the suit.
Similarly, in the petition against the third respondent, the tribunal held that the pre-hearing notice was not filed within time by the petitioners.
It, therefore, went ahead to dismiss the petition.
The petition is one of five filed by various individuals and their political parties at the tribunal in their bid to nullify the victory of Governor Obaseki in the poll.
Others include the petition of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its governorship candidate, Emmanuel Iboi, against INEC, PDP, Governor Obaseki, as well as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu; and the petition of the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) against INEC, PDP, Governor Obaseki, and his deputy, Philip Shaibu.
The remaining two petitions are that of Agol Ebun Tracy against INEC, PDP and Governor Obaseki, and the petition of the Action Peoples Party (APP) against Governor Obaseki, PDP, and INEC.
After the keenly contested election conducted by the electoral umpire on September 19, INEC returned Governor Obaseki and Deputy Governor Shaibu elected.
The governor polled 307,955 of the total votes, 84,336 more votes than his closest rival Ize-Iyamu who got 223, 619 votes.