The Edo State Election Petitions Tribunal on Monday adjourned ruling sine die on the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate in the 2016 election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The PDP and Ize-Iyamu are challenging the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Mr Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election.
The adjournment came after counsel to the PDP and its governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Yusuf Ali (SAN) asked the tribunal to rule that Ize-Iyamu is entitled to be declared the winner of the 2016 governorship election in the state.
Ali’s arguments were based among others on several motions and counter affidavits which he presented before the court as well as the written addresses which he adopted even as he called on the tribunal to strike out all the applications by the respondents.
He had impressed it on the tribunal that all the allegations raised by the petitioners in their petition before the tribunal were in actual fact against the INEC and as such only the INEC can answer them.
The lawyer said that whereas INEC did not call a single witness to defend the allegation against them, none of the respondents pleaded that the INEC manual labelled as an exhibit was for the training of only its officials.
He also argued that the fact that the second respondent Mr Godwin Obaseki expressed dissatisfaction with the results of the election in many polling units as contained in his written address showed that the petitioners were not alone in their submissions on the issue.
On the identity of the petitioner’s candidate which was raised by the second respondent, the legal luminary argued that even the respondent’s witnesses had identified Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the petitioner in the open court.
He said: “The identity of the petitioner is not in doubt’, as he was the candidate identified by even the INEC as the one the PDP presented for the 2016 governorship election in Edo State.
On the use of the INEC manual, he said that “if ticking is useless the Manual will not say it is relevant,” adding, “ticking is to identify the voters and whether or not he has voted in an election.”