Edo polls: PDP, Ize-Iyamu file 41 grounds of appeal

BY: THE NATION

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate in the September 28, governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize – Iyamu has filed a 41-ground of appeal against the judgement of the lower tribunal.

Chairman of the three-man tribunal panel, Justice Ahmed Badamasi, had struck out the petition of the PDP and Pastor Ize-Iyamu for failing to support their pleadings with evidence and abandoning some pleadings in their petition.

Justice Badamasi who upheld the election of Governor Godwin Obaseki, ruled that many witnesses called by the petitioners were discredited during cross examination and gave hearsay evidence.

Respondents in the appeal are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Godwin Noghehgase Obaseki and the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Among reliefs sought by the appellants is an order setting aside the decision of the trial tribunal and an order nullifying the return of the 2nd Respondent while declaring the 1st Appellant validly elected.

The appellants in their appeal stated that the learned Judges of the trial tribunal misdirected themselves and truncated their right to fair hearing by the unequal treatment given to the cases of the parties by first finding fault, discrediting, disbelieving and dismissing the petition of the appellants before considering at all and reviewing the testimonies of the witnesses of the Respondents, insisting that this occasioned a miscarriage of justice against them.

They stated that the trial tribunal erred in law when it held that the testimonies of their witnesses from Akoko- Edo, Egor, Etsako Central, Etsako East, Orhionmwon, Ikpoba- Okha, Oredo, Igueben, Uhunmwode, Ovia South – West, Ovia North – East, Owan East, Owan West, Esan West and Etsako West local government areas who were called to support the allegations were unreliable on grounds that their testimonies were hearsay and that they were discredited under cross examination, when this was not true legally and factually.

The appellants said the trial tribunal misdirected themselves and caused a grave miscarriage of justice against the appellants when they held that the testimony of PW 1, (1st Appellant) was hearsay evidence and that he did not give evidence on the Exhibits tendered before the tribunal. when a proper and dispassionate consideration of his testimony revealed that he gave evidence that was believable, cogent and demonstrated the exhibits tendered before the tribunal.

They contended that the trial tribunal erred in law by holding that the Manual for the Election Officials , 2016 was merely an administrative document and that Exhibit 2RO64 and IRO22(1) had abolished the ticking for accreditation on the voters’ register.

Another ground in the appeal canvassed by the appellants was that the trial tribunal erred in law in disregarding the report of ballot papers recount orderd by it when legally and factually it was prevented from so doing.

The petitioners stated that the trial tribunal erred in law by holding that mere tendering of some documents by the 1st Respondent was enough to exculpate the 1st Respondent from calling or adducing evidence and that the 1st Respondent did not abandon its defence which is contrary to be position of the law.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the appeal.

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