Dateline: Saharareporters, Benin City, March 20, 2008
The elections petitions tribunal in Edo State today took a historic step to rectify the election fraud that took place in Edo State on April 14 2007. The Chairman of the Edo State Governorship Petition Tribunal, Justice Peter Umeadi, this afternoon, declared Adams Oshiomhole governor of Edo State.
In Benin City this afternoon, the panel ruled that former labor leader, Adams Oshiomole, who contested on the ticket of the Action Congress, had proved his allegations of fraud, voter intimidation, multiple voter registration, and over-voting and election violence. The tribunal therefore held that the results were adversely affected.
The tribunal declared Oshiomole the true winner of the gubernatorial elections, with 166,577 votes.
The tribunal declared that the petitioners had proved beyond reasonable doubt that that there was electoral malpractices in the election. Noting that the third respondent, Professor Osunbor, was declared winner on account of Exhibit 70, the tribunal ruled that there was an inherent flaw in Exhibits 70 and 71A.
The tribunal invalidated 263,144 for the PDP and 30,610 for AC. Two local government areas were canceled.
The tribunal berated the national electoral commission for incompetence. It said that the INEC official did not present any credible evidence before the tribunal.
The tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue Oshiomole a certificate of victory.
The lawyers for the respondent, Prof. Osunbor, have indicated their plan to appeal the judgment.
More to come…