The Court of Appeal, sitting in Benin, yesterday, upheld the ruling of the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal against the Action Democratic Party (ADP), and reaffirmed the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki at the 2020 governorship election.
Delivering the judgement in the case marked CA/B/EPT/GOV/01 & 1A/2021 Action Democratic Party & Anor v. INEC & 2Ors, the court held that Obaseki did not forge his certificates with which he contested the 2020 governorship election and dismissed the appeal filed by the ADP and its candidate.
In another case marked /B/EPT/GOV/02/2021 Action Peoples Party (APP) Vs Godwin N. Obaseki & 2Ors., the court unanimously upheld the judgment of the tribunal and dismissed the appeal with costs assessed at N600,000 each, on two different counts, as the governor won all eight issues for determination in the appeal.
Delivering the judgement in favour of the governor, the Presiding Justice, M.A. Owoade, dismissed the main appeal, the preliminary objection and the cross appeal.
The judge noted that the inclusion of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as respondents in the petition, was a ploy by Ize-Iyamu to fight his case through another petitioner, describing it as a case of ‘squeezing the rock for water’.
Governor Obaseki praised the verdict of the Court of Appealdescribing it as “another victory for Edo people.”
In a statement, the governor said the verdict of the Court of Appeal is a testament to the fairness and equity of the Judiciary.
“The verdict of the Court of Appeal, Benin City, upholding the ruling of the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is another victory for Edo people and a testament to the fairness and equity of the judiciary.”