The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the September 28, 2016, governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, have filed a notice of appeal against the judgement of the state election petitions tribunal.
This is just as the All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the 2016 poll, Godwin Obaseki, have filed a cross appeal challenging a section of the tribunal’s judgement.
Listed as first to third respondents in the 41-ground appeal of Ize-Iyamu and the PDP are the Independent National Electoral Commission, Obaseki and the APC.
The tribunal had in a ruling delivered by the Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Ahmed Badamasi, on April 14, 2017, dismissed the petition of the PDP and its candidate for lack of merit and affirmed the declaration of Obaseki by INEC as winner of the poll.
But the appellants faulted the judgement, which they claimed was against the weight of evidence and urged the court to allow the appeal.
Among the grounds of appeal are an order setting aside the decision of the tribunal and an order nullifying the return of the second respondent, while declaring Ize-Iyamu as the winner, having scored the highest number of lawful votes cast in the September 28 poll.
The appellants alleged that the learned judges of the tribunal erred and truncated their (appellants) right to fair hearing by the unequal treatment given to the cases of the parties, “by first finding fault, discrediting, disbelieving and dismissing their petition before considering at all and reviewing the testimonies of the witnesses of the respondents and, thus, occasioning a miscarriage of justice.”
The appellants stated that the tribunal also erred in law and truncated their right to fair hearing where, in consideration of their case, it failed “totally” to consider and make any pronouncement on the issue concerning, “whether the second respondent was duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast” in the election “and if not, whether the first petitioner (Ize-Iyamu) is not entitled to be returned as the Governor of Edo State.”
On their part, Obaseki and the APC are challenging the part of the decision wherein the tribunal allegedly refused to grant the third respondent’s/cross appellant’s applications dated November 30, 2016, and December 1, 2016, respectively and, consequently, the trial tribunal’s refusal to strike out the offensive paragraphs and or the petition based on the two applications.
In their four grounds of cross appeal, they contended that the trial tribunal erred in law when it held on page 21 of the judgement that the whole essence of the application was to defeat the intendment of the petition.