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By Imelda Osayande /Joy Odigie
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, have expressed excitement over the judgment of the electoral tribunal which upheld Obaseki’s election.
They said that the Election Petition Tribunal’s judgment was a clear testimony that the Edo 2016 Governorship election was free and fair.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which filed the petition is not satisfied and has therefore decided he will file an appeal.
Obaseki said that the judgment would rekindle his energy to work for the people of the state.
Obaseki commended the judges and his counsel for the level of professionalism displayed in handling the election petition and noted that the judgement was well-researched and clear that the opposition had no ground or merit in their petition.
“This judgment is clearly a testimony that we won our election free and fair and that the people of Edo are solidly behind our party, APC and our government.’’
“We thank God, we thank the judges, and we thank our counsel for the amazing job they have done.
““We want all of you to go back peacefully and observe a wonderful holiday, ‘’ he said.
The tribunal affirmed the victory of Obaseki as the winner of the Governorship election held on Sept. 28, 2016.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, challenged Obaseki’s election, alleging widespread irregularities.
Obaseki contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Oshiomhole on his part, said the judiciary still remained the hope for common man.
“The judgment is sound and a testimony that the people of Edo never voted for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
‘‘The petition was a busy body one to distract the electorate; this was just like ‘Mama Akara’ judgment going to see over non-issue.’’
Oshiomhole further said that the judgment has shown that there were still men and women of good character in the judiciary.
‘‘This will serve as a deterrent to some people who can say whatever they like about the judiciary.
‘‘But it has shown it (judiciary) has men & women of good charter of courage and knowledge,’’ he said.
In a related development, the counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Victor Ohiosunua, has appealed to PDP chieftains to support Obaseki to develop the state.
Ohiosunua made the call in in Benin after the Election Petitions Tribunal in Benin dismissed the petition filed by Ize-Iyamu.
“I want to appeal to the petitioners to join hands with the governor to develop and carry the state to the next level.’’