The PDP and Ize-Iyamu are challenging the declaration of Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress as winner of the September 28 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission. They had in the substantive petition marked “EPT/EDS/GOV/2/2016” listed INEC, Obaseki and the APC as the first to third respondents, respectively. Ize-Iyamu, had asked the tribunal to declare him as the rightful winner of the election with majority votes. In his final address , counsel to the first respondent, Onyechi Ikpeazu, ‎urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition, arguing that the petitioners failed to establish an instance of over-voting by not tendering the voter register, ballot papers, the recounted ballot papers and the outcome of the recounting exercise as evidence. Ikpeazu ‎said that the prove of over-voting must be done polling unit by polling, rather than covering only 29 out of the over polling units in the state. He also said that the petitioners relied on invented figures not before the court and also failed to provide competent evidence before the tribunal when they called witnesses who merely flipped through documents. The counsel said that Section ‎138(2) of the Electoral Act, as amended, was clear that the ticking to the left or right for accreditation and voting, which was emphasised by the petitioners, could not be grounds for non-conformity with the electoral process. On his part, lead counsel for Obaseki, Chief Wole Olanipekun, joined the first respondent in urging the tribunal to dismiss the petition, arguing that there was no certainty about the identity of the first petitioner and who was sponsored by the PDP. He said, “My lords, why are we here? Who is the petitioner? What is his identity? Who is he? ‎My lords, in the petition before your lordships, we have Pastor Ize-Iyamu Osagie Andrew. “We have submitted to your lordships that that is not the name ‎of the person sponsored by the political party to contest election on its behalf. They have filed a reply and they have compounded the matter beyond redemption in the reply by adding another name, Osagie. “‎My lords, we have given your lordships authorities, Supreme Court decisions, to the effect that if you are JT, you cannot say you TJ because they do not point to the same direction.”]]>

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