Ize-Iyamu Forecloses Challenging Obaseki’s Victory at Tribunal

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has disclosed that he would not challenge the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the election petition tribunal but would continue to pursue the two pre-election cases he had filed to challenge the eligibility of Obaseki to contest the election.

He added that his decision to continue with the cases followed the decision of the PDP and its candidate to continue to pursue several pre-election suits in various courts against himself and the APC.
Ize-Iyamu in a statement issued yesterday said even though the governorship election in the state was characterised by malpractices, he decided not to challenge the outcome because of the pronouncement by the leadership of the party and highly-placed individuals endorsing the election.

He, however, stressed that contrary to what he described as orchestrated media reports, the election was neither free nor fair.

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He alleged that there were several episodes of violence, voter intimidation and falsification of results.

According to him, there were unlawful cancellations of results particularly from Urhonigbe South and North in Orhiomwon Local Government Area, while results were falsified from many polling units in Ofunama in Ovia South West, and in parts of Ovia North East, Owan West, Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Esan North East, Esan West, Esan South East, and Uhunmwode Local Government Areas.

He stated: “These malpractices could easily form the basis to challenge the election results. We have, however, decided not to commence an election petition. This is to avoid further tension in the state.

“We are also mindful that the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and many well-placed individuals have made pronouncements endorsing the process, which we have chosen to respect.”

Ize-Iyamu alleged that two persons were killed during the election, while gun-wielding thugs took over collation centres in many locations without the intervention of law-enforcement agents.

He claimed that there were also several cases of malfunctioning card readers, which disenfranchised duly registered voters, in addition to many cases of unregistered voters voting with pre-purchased voters’ cards not collected by their actual owners.

He said: “Nonetheless, we must emphasise that elections are far more than actual voting, just as democracy includes more than just elections. It is in this light that we draw attention to the fact that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its flag bearer have continued to pursue several pre-election suits in various courts against us, all totalling 13. One of such cases came up in the High Court, Benin on October 2, 2020, days after the election.

“On our part, we had filed two pre-election cases against the PDP and its flag bearer, challenging their eligibility to contest the election. These are all lawful and integral parts of the electoral process in any democracy, which we must all respect and acknowledge as genuine democrats.

“The outcome of these pending cases has a direct effect on the election. Consequently, we have decided to continue with our pre-election cases in full exercise of our legal rights, just as our opponents have considered it their prerogative to also, continue with their pre-election cases against us.”

 

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