Spice And Drama At Edo Governorship Tribunal
The campaign ahead of the Edo State governorship election in 2015 was laced with much drama and intrigues climaxing with the last minute postponement of the election from the earlier scheduled date of September 10.
Given the spectacle that shadowed the election campaign, only few would have expected the post-election struggle to be less dramatic.
Indeed, actions and inactions of the contenders have been no less dramatic as reflected in recent tribunal outings where the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is seeking to reverse the declaration of Mr. Godwin Obaseki as governor of Edo State. The sitting of the Justice Ahmed Badamasi led Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Benin last Wednesday was, however, laced with comedy and acrimony. Osaro Osuwne, from Ikpoba Okhai Ward 1, called to testify for the PDP candidate was put under pressure when the APC counsel alleged that he made depositions describing himself as a business man and also as a public servant in another deposition.
Faced with the seeming contradictions, Osuwne who had earlier described himself as a “Man of God,” threw the court into laughter when he added “I am also a nurse!” However, the high point of the drama acts on Wednesday was when two senior members of the bar, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and Mr. Kemi Pinheiro ( SAN) engaged themselves in a shouting match following the order on a witness, Mr. Frank Pax Osifo to shut up by Chief Olanipekun during a cross examination.
Trouble started when Mr. Osifo who is a witness for the PDP tried to explain the literary meaning of a question put to him by Chief Olanipekun.
Olanipekun who was visibly angered by the audacity of the witness ordered him to shut up saying, “this is insulting, you are insulting me.” He was to add that he had expected counsel to the petitioners to caution their witness when he made the statement.
It was at this juncture that lead counsel for the petitioners during the session, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro replied in anger. “I have been very patient with counsel shouting down and intimidating my witnesses. He has no right to abuse a witness.