Governor Godwin Obaseki: says petitions against my re-election motivated by greed, malice

By Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State Tuesday said that petitions filed at the state election petition tribunal against his victory at the September 19 governorship election were motivated by greed, malice.

He stated this in reaction to the dismissal of the four petitions against his victory by the tribunal.

The tribunal had on Monday dismissed a petition filed by the Action Democratic Party (ADP), against Obaseki.

The petitioners had contended the outcome of the election on the basis that Obaseki presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for the purpose of the election.

In a unanimous judgment read by Justice Suleiman Abubakar, the tribunal held that the 3rd Respondent (Godwin Obaseki), did not present either false or forged documents to the 1st Respondent (INEC).

It further held that the report presented by the Petitioners’ expert witness is not reliable, and that the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has already resolved the issue and that the 3rd Respondent is not bound to attach his certificates to his INEC Forms 001 or EC 9.

The tribunal also held that the 3rd Respondent did not give any false information to aid his qualification in the light of the Affidavit of loss of documents dated 7 June 2016, attached to his INEC form 001 of 2016.

However, Obaseki in a video on his official Facebook page, described the judgment as another testament that the judiciary in Nigeria upholds fairness and justice.

“We are very happy with the verdicts of the Edo 2020 governorship election petition tribunal which dismissed all four petitions challenging our victory in the September 19, 2020 polls. This is yet another testament that the judiciary in Nigeria upholds fairness and justice.

“With the judgement at the tribunal today, we are once again reassured of the impartiality of the judiciary, as they continue to uphold the ethos of equity and rule of law.

“We cannot thank the judiciary enough for standing for the truth.

“The petitions against our victory at the election were clearly motivated by greed, malice and a quest to undo a fair and just process, by deploying despicable means aimed at thwarting the wish of Edo people.

“This victory is a victory for Edo people who have always believed in us. We want to thank them for believing in us,” he said.

The governor while appreciating his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, “for ensuring an impartial judiciary, which upholds the wishes of the people.”