The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Edo State has dismissed the petition filed by Action Alliance (AA) party challenging the exclusion of the party and its candidate in the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state.
Prior to the ruling on Friday, Onyechi Ikpeazu, counsel to Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who are first and second respondents respectively, had on Monday argued that the petitioner failed to file for issuance of pre-hearing notice, which is one of the conditions required by the Electoral Act 2010. The tribunal consequently adjourned to Friday, December 11( today), for ruling.
In a unanimous ruling, the tribunal led by Chukwudi Nwakwo, its chairperson, held that in the petition against the first and second respondents, the petitioners failed to file the pre-hearing notice.
As a result, Mr Nwakwo ruled that the petitioners were deemed to have abandoned the petition and, thereafter, dismissed the suit.
The other members of the tribunal are Abdulrazak Abdulkareem and Josephine Ayua.
The petition is one of five filed by various individuals and their political parties at the tribunal in their bid to nullify the victory of Mr Obaseki in the poll.
Others include the petition of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its governorship candidate, Emmanuel Iboi, against INEC and Mr Obaseki, as well as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu; and the petition of the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) against INEC, PDP, Mr Obaseki, and his deputy, Philip Shaibu.
The remaining two petitions are that of Tracy Agol against INEC, PDP and Mr Obaseki; and the petition of the Action Peoples Party (APP) against Mr Obaseki, PDP, and INEC.