Edo election tribunal begins sitting, warns gov candidates

Adeyinka Adedipe, Benin

The Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, on Friday, had its inaugural sitting where it urged all the litigants to desist from frivolous motions that would derail the court processes.

Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice A.B. Abdulkareem, pledged to be fair to all litigants and ensure it finishes its business within the stipulated time.

He said, “Our assignment is time-bound. As such, we do not have the luxury of time. With the help of the almighty God, the tribunal is committed to completing its work on the five petitions filed before it within the time frame allowed for it to complete its assignments.

“We therefore solicit the maximum cooperation of all the parties and their counsel, and we urge you all to be ready to work within the mandatory period stipulated by law.

“We wish to assure you that in our quest to get to the truth of the matters before us, we shall act in good faith, and shall do our work with open minds without any form of bias or appearance of any preconception. We also pledge not to lend ourselves to any form of external influence.”

Replying on behalf of the parties and their counsel, Ken Mozia (SAN) said they would cooperate with the panel to ensure they meet their target and justice for all.

During the sitting, the petitioners sought, through an ex parte motion, for substituted means of service against their respective respondents.

 Following the petitioners’ motion, Justice Abdulkareem granted their orders, and adjourned to Monday, December 7, 2020, for further processes to continue.

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Five political parties, namely Action Democratic Party, Action Peoples Party, Action Alliance, Allied Peoples Movement and New Nigeria Peoples Party, are seeking to nullify the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Godwin Obaseki, in the September 19, 2020 governorship election.

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