The Action Democratic Party, ADP Edo State chapter, has reacted to petition filed by its candidate in the recently conducted gubernatorial election in the state, where Governor Godwin Obaseki and Comrade Philip Shaibu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP emerged victorious.
In a press statement issued and signed by Edo State Chairman of the party, Mr. Gabriel Oloruntobi said the party was shocked to hear that the candidate of the party Mr. Lucky Iboi Emmanuel, is challenging the victory of Governor Obaseki at the tribunal.
“The party was shocked to hear that the candidate of the Party in the recently conducted gubernatorial election in the state where His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki emerged winner is being challenged in the tribunal.
“At the enlarged meeting held in the state recently to appraise the election and appreciate our members, where the candidate was involved, the party commended INEC, Security Agencies and the electorate for doing a good job in ensuring a free, fair and credible election.
“It is therefore an embarrassment to the party to be dragged into an action not supported by us. The party is not interested in any litigation against the choice of Edo people and will not want to be seen as anti Edolites.
“The conviviality that exist in the state since the outcome of the election is not to be jeopardized by anyone including our party,” the statement concluded.
Recall that the ADP Candidate in the Sept. 19th Edo Governorship election, Iboi Lucky Emmanuel, on Monday, October 5th, dragged Governor Godwin Obaseki to the Edo State election petition tribunal over his re-election victory and called for his disqualification from the just concluded guber polls, the nullification of the election and a fresh exercise conducted for the remaining candidates.
Joined in the petition are: The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), 1st Respondent; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 2nd Respondent; Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, 3rd Respondent; All Progressives Congress (APC), 4th Respondent; Andrew Osagie Ize-Iyamu, 5th Respondent.
The ground upon which the ADP Candidate is challenging Governor Obaseki’s victory is that the University degree certificate submitted by the 3rd respondent(Godwin Obaseki) to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), issued by the University of Ibadan, was defective.
“In an affidavit deposed to and presented to INEC in his Form CF001 in 2016, Obaseki submitted a certificate purported to have been signed by the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar of the University,” it said.
“In the Form EC9 submitted to INEC in 2020, Obaseki attached an undated certificate with only one signatory purporting to be the signature of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.”
The party and its candidate, however, alleged that the signature of the Vice Chancellor, who signed the Degree Certificate being presented by Obaseki, died in 2015 after retirement for a long time and couldn’t have signed a re-issued certificate in 2020.
“The petitioners will rely on oral and documentary evidence to show that Professor Tekena Tamuno who was Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan from December 1975 to November 1979 had not only died in 2015, but could not also have signed a document purporting to be a document of the University of Ibadan after his retirement and death.”
The ADP and its candidate also argued that the 3rd respondent (Godwin Obaseki) was not qualified to contest the governorship election held in September 19 and the votes credited to him were null and void and of no effect and value.
They also sought a declaration that Obaseki’s participation in the election is null and void having sought and participated in the primary election process for two different political parties (namely PDP and APC) in respect of the same governorship election in Edo State.
Emmanuel also sought “A DECLARATION that the 3rd Respondent presented a forged and/or false certificate to INEC in violation of Section 182 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“And that the 3rd Respondent (Obaseki) was at the time of the election which held on 19/9/2020, not qualified to contest the election for having submitted a false forged document or certificate to INEC along with his Farm EC9.”
Others were; “A DECLARATION that the 3rd Respondent(Obaseki) having by his own showing admitted in Form EC8 that he never attended any primary school, is a person who has not been educated up to School Certificate level or its equivalent as prescribed by Section 177 (of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended) and is therefore not qualified to contest the governorship election which held on 19/9/2020 in Edo State.
“AN ORDER disqualifying the 3rd Respondent(Godwin Obaseki) as contestant in the said Edo State Governorship Election which held on 19/9/2020.
“AN ORDER nullifying the Governorship election which held on 19/9/2020 in view of the fact that the 1st Respondent(INEC) returned the 3rd Respondent(Obaseki) who was not qualified to contest the election as the winner of the election.
“AN ORDER directing the 1st Respondent(INEC) to conduct a fresh election between all the qualified contestants in that election apart from the 2nd and 3rd Respondents(PDP and Obaseki) who are constitutionally disqualified from contesting the 2020 Governorship election in Edo State.
“And an ORDER nullifying the certificate of return issued by the 1st Respondent(INEC) to the 3rd Respondent(Obaseki).”
Alternatively, the ADP and its candidate prayed for;
“A DECLARATION that the 3rd Respondent’s participation in the Edo State Governorship election held on 19/9/2020 is null and void having sought and participated in the primary election process for two different political parties (namely PDP and APC in respect of the same governorship election in Edo State.
“AN ORDER disqualifying the 3rd Respondent(Obaseki) and nullifying the votes cast for him in the said Governorship election held in Edo State on 19/9/2020 and ordering the 1st Respondent(INEC) to conduct a fresh election between all other qualified candidates excluding the 2nd and 3rd Respondents(PDP and Obaseki).”