• Tony Igele


Yesterday's Proceeding; A Rekindled Hope For APC As Tribunal Set To Affirm Obaseki's Victory.

At the commencement of Monday's proceeding, Counsels to 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents orally prayed Court for withdrawal of some motions earlier filed before it .Counsel to Petitioner, Ali Yusuf SAN was not left out as he also prayed Court to withdraw some of his earlier filed motions .The tribunal Chairman, Mallam Ahmed Gbadamasi who availed them the opportunity obliged and stroke out the motions.


Beginning with 1st respondent Counsel , Mr Ikpeazu SAN agitated emphatically that the petitioner's case be stroke out because it does not meet the requirement of the electoral act while elucidating the reason why INEC did not border to invite its witnesses during cross examination process. Mr Ikpeazu in his reference to law stated that when allegation is made and petition written against anything alleged not properly done especially one currently ongoing , the onus lies on the Petitioner to prove his case convincingly and beyond all reasonable doubt, with facts and figures. If that is done, the respondent like the INEC can now buckle up in fierce defence of such proofs by promptly calling for its witnesses . This is entirely lacking in this case owing to the facts that the Petitioner could not establish his case let alone proving it. This was lacking as the Petitioner could only able to call about 97 out of over 2000 witnesses earlier promised to provide. It would amount to arrant nonsense and unprofessionallism if as INEC representative had bordered calling witnesses moreso that he has tendered and admitted written evidences to serve its purpose before the Honourable Tribunal as respondent.

WOLE OLANIKPEKUN SAN (2ND RESPONDENT LAWYER): Mr Olanikpekun, Counsel to All Progressives Congress (APC) told His lordships that from the names contained in Petitioner's petition as Pst Ize-Iyamu and another made available in Petitioner's address and tendered before this honourable Tribunal for adoption as Pst Osagie Andrew Ize-Iyamu , it is evidently clear that there wasn't petitioner in this case vis-a-vis the discrepancies that characterised the petition , stating that such discrepancy is not permissible by law and urge His lordship to strike out the case. In another development, Mr Olanikpekun articulately utilised his time citing instances to powerful Supreme Court judgements that has similarity with the one on trial here. To further prove a point , Mr Olanikpekun SAN told Tribunal about Ali's roles in Supreme Court Judgement in a case between Nyesom and Peterside. Cases between Ngige and Obi, case between Mimiko and Agagu among others were technically cited for adoption and consideration. Mr Olanikpekun having made this references drew His Lordship attention to the superiority of Supreme Court Judgements over others stating that "as far as adjudication is concerned Supreme Court Judgement comes second after God", and that this Honourable Tribunal can not claim ignorance to this fact. The Chairman, Mallam Ahmed Gbadamasi was quick to smile to this reality in concordance to the viability of the Olanikpekun's address and this resulted to the whole arena agog in laughter . He therefore urge His Lordships to strike out this case considering its demerits arising from name discrepancies and lack of proof.

FAGBEMI SAN (3RD RESPONDENT LAWYER): Mr Fagbemi, Counsel to Governor Godwin Obaseki on his part, haven first of all aligned with the position of the Senior colleague , Olanikpekun SAN with particular reference to Supreme Court Judgements told the Honourable Tribunal that he was encouraged seeing the tabulated results of the Petitioner's Counsel , Ali Yusuf SAN because it has a lot to further convince His Lordships the need to strike out the case . Fagbemi neverthelessly drew his Lordships attention, for the purpose of records to the figures of the Petitioner's tabulated result which clearly shows a convincing margin of Fifty Eight Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety Six (58,696) Votes still in favour of his CLIENT, Governor Godwin Obaseki assuming the respondent will want to close its eyes to it and allow it to see the light of day in the ongoing proceeding. Mr Fagbemi therefore urge the Court to strike out the petition for lack of merit .

YUSUF ALI SAN (PETITIONER'S LAWYER): Mr Ali, though, was wrapped in unimaginable confusion by the intelligence and powerful citations of authorities by respondents Counsels, but could struggle to defend his indictment by Olanikpekun with his position in the Supreme Court Judgement in an Election case between Nyesom Wike and Dakuku Peterside. Mr Ali however maintained his stand and urge the Honourable Tribunal to jettison the Supreme Court Judgements Olanikpekun referred to and declare his CLIENT winner , claiming that the case in Rivers was different from the one currently in contention in Edo.

OBSERVATIONS: It was indeed an interesting proceeding worthy of observing. It was an eye opener that anything worth doing at all is worth doing well. This again is testimonial to the fact that lawyers differ in intelligence and competence . As usual, Wole Olanikpekun has emphatically proven this beyond all reasonable doubt, as well as other Counsels in their respective outstanding capacities .

Rulings: 》Addresses henceforth adopted 》Court thereafter adjourned for judgement. 》 Date to be communicated to parties in due course.

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