By Tony Igele
The Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin has fixed December 7 for hearing of all relevant applications filed by the Peoples Democratic and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as well as the All Progressives Congress and Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The PDP and Ize-Iyamu had in the main petition challenged the outcome of the September 28 governorship election and urged the tribunal to declare the him as the rightful winner of the poll.
They had also listed the Independent National Electoral Commission, Obaseki and the APC as first, second and third respondents, respectively.
The electoral umpire had on September 29 declared Obaseki as the winner of the poll, with 319,483 votes while Ize-Iyamu came second with 253,173 votes.
Present at the tribunal on Thursday were Obaseki, his deputy, Philip Shuaibu, and 37 lawyers representing the APC and the governor, while the PDP and its candidate were represented by 61 lawyers.
A large crowd of supporters of the two major political parties were seen within and outside the state High Court Complex on Sapele road.
A clash was also said to have ensued between the two groups, leaving some person injured, while the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Frank Ukonga, was reportedly assaulted.
However, the three-man panel led by Justice A. Badamasi, gave the directive after counsel to the APC, Niyi Akintola, SAN, informed the tribunal of a pending application, which he said should be heard before the commencement of pre-hearing.
But counsel to the PDP, Adebayo Adelodun, SAN, had during sitting objected to Akintola’s argument, adding that all relevant applications could be heard along with the petition.