The Edo State Election Petition Tribunal on Sunday affirmed the election of Sen. Francis Alemikhena of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the February 23, 2019, National Assembly election.
The Tribunal also upheld the election of Joe Edionwele of the PDP, as the winner of Esan Central/Esan West/Igueben Federal Constituency.
Abubakar Momoh of the PDP had challenged INEC’s declaration of Alimikhena as winner of the Edo North Senatotrial District election.
Momoh who challenged Alimikhena’s victory on the grounds that he did not score majority of lawful votes, also alleged over voting and that Alimikhena was not qualified to contest the election as he did not have the requsite academic qualification.
He further alleged that the election was married with irregularities and non compliances with Electoral Act and therefore should be declared winner.
The Tribunal in its ruling read by , Justice S.M. Kibo, held that the petitioner failed to prove his petition beyound reasonable doubt and therefore dismissed all the grounds of the petition as well as reliefs sought by the petitioner for lack of merit.
Similarly, Patrick Idiakhe of APC, had approached the Tribunal to challenge the election victory of Joe Edionwele of PDP, in the Esan Central/Esan West/Igueben Federal Constituency contest.
The three-man Tribunal dismissed the APC candidate’s petition for lack of merit and failure to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
The judgment delivered by Justice Y.S. Bogoro, ruled that the “evidences as provided in the Tribunal are against the petitioners, while they favoured the respondents.”
According to the Tribunal, most of the witnesses called by the petitioners were being tutored to give the same testimony on what happened during the election, especially at unit 9, ward 9, in Esan West local government area.
Justice Bogoro averred that a petitioner must satisfy the Tribunal with credible and cogent evidence, adding that a respondent cannot be held responsible for not helping petitioner to discharge its burden.