Election Tribunal sacks Edo APC lawmaker

The Edo State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin on Friday upturned the election of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Yakubu Gowon, as the lawmaker representing Etsako West II Constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly.

Gowon had been declared the winner of the April 11 state assembly poll and returned elected to represent the constituency, where Governor Adams Oshiomhole hails from, by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

But in the judgement, Justice E. Abuua held that the APC candidate was not duly nominated by his party.

The tribunal explained that the APC’s notice of intention to hold party primaries, which he sent to INEC, was less than the mandatory 21 days.

It said the notice was given on November 13, 2014, while the primaries was conducted on December 1, 2014.

The tribunal, therefore, held that all the votes cast for the APC candidate were wasted and that the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Sylvanus Eriagha, who was the first runner up with 4,001 votes was the rightful person to be declared winner of the poll.

Reacting to the judgement, the State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, described the decision of the tribunal as a ‎”sweet victory” for the party which, he said, would keep “hope alive for the people.”

But the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Godwin Erhahon, said all‎ the candidates of the party were duly nominated.

He, however, added that the party’s legal team would look into the judgement.
Erhahon said, “We will leave the turnout for our legal team‎s. For now we do not have the details.

“All our candidates were duly nominated. So whatever somebody at that level may have adduced ‎is left for our lawyers to look into.

“I cannot comment authoritatively because I do not have the details.”
Credit: Alexander Okere/Punch