The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the election of Mr. Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress as the Governor of Edo State.
In a unanimous judgment of its seven-man bench headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, the apex court dismissed the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the September 28, 2016 governorship election in the state, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The apex court affirmed the earlier judgment of the Benin Division of the Court of Appeal, which had earlier in its verdict delivered on June 9, 2017, dismissed Ize-Iyamu’s appeal.
Ize-Iyamu had filed the appeal to the Court of Appeal after the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led Edo State Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal on April 14, 2017, dismissed the PDP governorship candidate’s petition challenging the outcome of the September 28, 2016 poll.
The Supreme Court said it would on July 24, give reasons for its judgment affirming Obaseki’s election.
The Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led tribunal had on April 14 dismissed the petition of Ize-Iyamu and the PDP for lack of merit and upheld the declaration of Obaseki as governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
But the PDP and its candidate had filed 41 grounds appeal against the tribunal’s judgment while Obaseki filed a cross-appeal on four grounds.
The five-man panel of the Court of Appeal in Benin led by Justice M. B. Dongban Mensem, had on June 9, 2017, dismissed Ize-Iyamu’s appeal.
The appeal court, in its unanimous judgment read by Justice M. O. Bolaji-Yusuf, said that the decision of the tribunal was unassailable.
It explained that the tribunal did a “thorough” consideration of the issues raised by the appellants.
The court, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.
It said, “We have considered all the issues and, at the end, we found that the conclusion of the tribunal, as it 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 unmeritorious. It is, hereby, dismissed. Each party shall bear his or her own cost.”
Reacting, Ize-Iyamu said he accepted the judgement in good faith and congratulated Obaseki on his victory at the Supreme Court.