The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City will today, Friday, deliver ruling on the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2016 Edo State Governorship Election, challenging the decision of the Election Petition Tribunal presided over by Justice Ahmed Badamasi.It would be recalled that on April 14, the tribunal, in its ruling, reaffirmed the victory of Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC), declaring him the true winner of the September 28, 2016 Edo State Governorship Election.
The PDP and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in their grounds of appeal, alleged that the tribunal judges erred in law and truncated their right to fair hearing.
According to them, the tribunal accorded the cases of the parties unequal treatment “by first finding fault, discrediting, disbelieving and dismissing their petition before considering at all and reviewing the testimonies of the witnesses of the respondents and, thus, occasioning a miscarriage of justice.”
They maintained that the tribunal also erred in law and truncated their right to fair hearing when, in considering their case, “totally” failed to consider and make any pronouncement on the issue, “whether the second respondent was duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast” in the election “and if not, whether the first petitioner (Ize-Iyamu) is not entitled to be returned as the governor of Edo State.”
The APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Obaseki, on their parts asked the court to disregard the appellants’ appeal.
They also filed a cross-appeal, asking the court to invalidate the tribunal’s order for the recount of ballot papers used during the election.