Oshiomhole: Tribunal Strikes Off PDP From Petition

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The Edo Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday struck off the name of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from a petition filed by its governorship candidate, retired Maj-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere.

Airhiavbere, in his petition had named the PDP as the second petitioner challenging the emergence of Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress Party of Nigeria (ACN) as governor in the July 14 governorship election.

Joined as co-respondents /defendants in the suit are Oshiomhole; ACN; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); the Resident Electoral Officer and the INEC returning officer.

Counsel to the PDP Kingsley Obamoge, after announcing his appearance, informed the tribunal that his client wished that its name be struck off from the petition as second respondent petitioner.

Obamoge said that he had therefore filed a notice before the tribunal requesting the tribunal to strike off PDP’s name from the petition.

The Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Suleman Ambrusa, granted the application since the counsel did not oppose the application.

Ambrusa had earlier in his opening address, appealed to all the counsel in the case to avoid filing frivolous applications that could bog down the pace of the proceeding.

He said that the tribunal was ready to listen to all the parties, but urged the counsel to ensure that they filed all relevant applications and papers before the tribunal.

“ When we start, there will be no adjournment and we hope to conclude the case within the stipulated time frame prescribed by the Electoral Act.

“Please try and file all the necessary papers as we have all agreed to play by the rules, we will let you know when the conference will begin,’’ the chairman said.

Airhiavbere in the petition said the process would deepen democracy.

The petitioner said that he was contesting the outcome of the election alleging that Oshiomhole did not possess the minimum qualification and that the Modern School as presented by him (Oshiomhole) to INEC was fake.

He further alleged that INEC did not conduct the election in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2012 (as amended).