Igbinedion loses as tribunal upholds Idahosa, Edionwele, Alikhena’s elections

Tony Osauzo, Benin

National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Benin, yesterday, dismissed a petition  by Omosede Igbinedion of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Dennis Idahosa of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Omosede, who was defeated in the National Assembly election for Ovia federal constituency seat, had approached the tribunal seeking the disqualification of Idahosa on the grounds that he did not qualify to stand for the election due to his dual citizenship of Nigeria and Canada.

Also, she said Idahosa did not resign his appointment at the Federal Ministry of Environment within 30 days before the election was conducted as required by law.

Besides, she contended that Idahosa was not duly elected by majority of the votes cast in the election; and that the votes allocated to the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 1st respondent should be discountenanced for non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

But, the three-man election tribunal in its judgement read by its Chairman, Justice C. Ogundala, struck out the three grounds of Igbinedion’s petition, saying they lacked merit.

In a related development, a petition filed by APC candidate for Esan West/Esan Central and Igueben constituency in the House of Representatives, Patrick Idiake, against the election of Edionwele of the PDP, has been thrown out for lack of merit.

The petitioner had asked the tribunal to declare him winner since election did not hold in Unit 9 Ward 9 of Esan West Local Government Area and that the election of Edionwele was invalid by reason of non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

But, the three-man tribunal in a unanimous judgement said the petitioners did not prove allegations of corrupt practices beyond reasonable doubts, adding that the evidences of the witnesses called by the petitioners were not credible and could not substantiate their claims.

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The tribunal held that there were indications that the witnesses called by the petitioners were tutored and gave no details of action incidences.

Also, former deputy chief whip of the Senate, Francis Alikhena, yesterday, retained his seat as the tribunal sitting in Benin upheld his victory as senator for Edo North senatorial district.

The tribunal threw out the petition filed by Abubakar Momoh of the PDP who had alleged that Alimikhena was not qualified to contest the election for not having prerequisite educational qualification and forged his GCE O-level.

Besides, Momoh had alleged that Alimikhena did not score majority of lawful votes cast during the election.



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