Electoral Tribunal May Cancel Edo Governorship Poll

By Ikenga Chronicles March 11, 2017

The Electoral Tribunal sitting in Benin may cancel the September 28, 2016 Governorship election that saw the emergence of Godwin Obaseki  of the All Progressives Congress(APC) as Edo state governor.

This became visible on Friday when the witnesses called by the third respondent–the APC– in its defence in the petition filed by the  PDP challenging the declaration Obaseki  as winner of the election  were totally confused about the conflicts in figures between the votes cast and the ballot papers used during the election.

All of them who were confronted with the conflicting figures on the INEC form EC8A or result sheets and the ballot papers INEC issued at the polling units during the election said the same thing.

Oladele Ebenezer, Malik Fatai, Francis Akpedi and Daniel Ogudo who were APC agents from Akoko-Edo, Etsako East and Esan west local government areas of the state, said they did not  know how the conflicts emerged despite admitting in their written depositions that all went well on Election Day.

Under cross-examination by counsel to the petitioners, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), Maliki Fatai, a businessman and politician from Igarra in Akoko-Edo LGA, using the INEC voters register, acknowledged that his name was only ticked to the left but not to the right.

On the figures,  he said he did not know how the actual used ballot papers in his ward stood at 3, 894  while the total returned votes was 4, 161 with the balance ballot papers unaccounted for.

Francis Akpedi, a public servant from Agenebode in Etsako East LGA,  while being cross examined by Pinheiro that the actual used ballot papers in his ward stood at  29,901 with the total returned votes at 31,914, and a difference of 2013 ballot papers, told the court, “I don’t know”.

In the same vein, Daniel Ogudo, a businessman from Ekpoma in Esan West LGA, told the court under cross examination by Petitioners’ counsel that though he was the APC agent,he was absent when the results of unit 5 ward 4 was entered into the form EC8A.

Chairman of the three member tribunal Justice Ahmed Badamasi after listening to a motion moved by the 3rd respondents for adjournment, fixed sitting of the tribunal on Wednesday, 15th of March 2017.

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