Godwin Obaseki

The Edo State governorship election petitions tribunal on Thursday threw out one of the three petitions filed before it by the Young Democratic Party (YDP) and its governorship candidate, Nurudeen Inwanfero.

The tribunal ruled that YDP failed to comply with paragraph 29 of the Electoral Act by filling the necessary application before seeking to discontinue with the first petition it filed.

The petitioners had filed petitions number one and three and filed notice of discontinuance for petition number one, but the tribunal held that filing of petition number three was abuse of court process.

Candidate of the YDP, Nurudeen Inwanfero, had in his petition asked the tribunal to cancel the entire September 28 governorship election because the logo of his party was not included in the ballot papers used for the election.

Ruling on the application filed by Governor Godwin Obaseki through his lead counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, the three-man panel earlier granted leave of the respondent to argue the application outside the pre-hearing session.

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ahmed Badamasi, who read the ruling said it was clear that there were two same petitions from the petitioners before the tribunal.

Justice Badamasi held that there was nothing to show that the notice of discontinuance was filed by the petitioners and described it as vague and incompetent.

Badamasi therefore struck out petition number three and all pending applications against the petition.

Attempts by the petitioners’ counsel, Ugo Nwofor, to request for adjournment to enable him ‘put his house in order’ was rejected by the respondents’ counsels.

Nwofor stated that it was in the interest of justice for the tribunal to grant the adjournment to allow him time put things together in respect of petition number one.

Justice Badamasi thereafter adjourned sitting to December 13, 2016 for ruling on whether petition number one still has merit or not.

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