By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THERE is tension in Edo State as the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is set to deliver judgment on the petition by the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the September 28, 2016 governorship election in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, against the election of Governor Godwin Obaseki of All Progressives Congress, APC.
It was gathered that the date for the judgment was communicated to the counsel to parties on Wednesday night.
Vanguard, yesterday, observed that the police command in the state was perfecting security arrangements within the court premises in Benin and Sapele Road, to avoid a situation where party supporters will invade the court premises.
Ize-Iyamu and the PDP are asking the court to nullify the election of Obaseki as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, alleging irregularities during the conduct of the election.
However the parties were represented by their lawyers in the cases and they are all expected to be at the tribunal today when the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led tribunal delivers judgment. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, led the INEC team, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, led that of Obaseki while Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, and Yusuf Ali, SAN, led that of APC and PDP respectively.
In their respective addresses, Mr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, Olanipekun, SAN, and Fagbemi, counsel to INEC, Obaseki and APC respectively, buttressed their arguments on the point of law, urging the tribunal to dismiss Ize-Iyamu’s petition as it failed to proof beyond reasonable doubt the petition before the tribunal.
But counsel to Ize-Iyamu and PDP, Ali, SAN, insisted that they have provided the tribunal with the evidences needed to annul the election of Obaseki, adding that there was merit in their petition and that Ize-Iyamu should be declared the authentic winner of the election.