Edo Election: Ize-Iyamu heads to court to challenge Obaseki’s victory

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Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has expressed his resolve to challenge the victory of governor Godwin Obaseki in court.

The APC candidate said though there were enough grounds to challenge the outcome of the election at the election petition tribunal, he would not be approaching the tribunal but rather continue his pre-election suits against the governor at the law court.

Ize-Iyamu stressed that while the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its flagbearer had instituted 13 pre-election cases against him and his party, he would continue with the two pre-election cases against the PDP and its flagbearer challenging their eligibility to contest the election, believing that the outcome of the suit would have direct effect on the election.

Ize-Iyamu who stated this in a statement issued Monday said, “Contrary to orchestrated media reports, the election was neither free nor fair. There were several episodes of violence, voter intimidation and falsification of results.”

He added that  “there were unlawful cancellations of results particularly from Urhonigbe South and North in Orhiomwon, 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 also 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.”

“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.

“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.

“Nonetheless, we must emphasize 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 flagbearers 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 2nd October, 2020, days after the election.

“On our part, we had filed two pre-election cases against the PDP and its flagbearer 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 have 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,” he averred.

While thanking his numerous supporters for their steadfast support and tremendous show of love, Ize-Iyamu urged them “to remain calm while keeping faith alive for a better Edo State which we shall all be proud of.”

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