The Edo State election petitions tribunal has affirmed the victory of Godwin Obaseki in the September 28, 2016 governorship election in the state.
Obaseki, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, having polled 319,483 votes to defeat his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who scored 250,000 votes.
However, Ize-Iyamu challenged Obaseki’s victory, claiming that the exercise was marred with widespread irregularities.
He asked the tribunal to declare him winner from the valid votes cast.
But head of the tribunal, Ahmed Badamosi, on Friday dismissed the PDP candidate’s appeal for lacking in merit.
“The petitioners have failed to prove their case with credible evidence and is therefore dismissed,’’ he said.
Badamosi in his judgment noted that the petitioners – Ize-Iyamu and the PDP – abandoned some of their pleadings, most of their witnesses’ evidences “were controverted under cross examination’’.
“The much talked about ticking and over voting by the petitioners have not been specifically proven beyond reasonable doubts.
“And not calling witnesses to prove their allegations of corrupt practices and over voting was fatal to their case and is deemed to have abandoned their pleadings.
“Accordingly, the petition has failed and is hereby dismissed,’’ he said.
Reports say wild celebrations broke out amongst supporters of Governor Obaseki and the APC soon after the judgment was delivered.