Benin City — PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the September 28, 2016 governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday, testified in the petition he and his party filed against the declaration of Mr. Godwin Obaseki of All Progressives Congress, APC, by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the winner of the election.
Led in evidence by Mallam Yusuf Alli (SAN) leading other legal practitioners for the petitioners, he reiterated his call on the election petitions tribunal to declare him the rightful winner of the poll.
He claimed that the Second Respondent in the petition, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the election even as he contended that Obaseki’s election was invalidated for alleged non- compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended. Ize-Iyamu also told the tribunal that the election of the second respondent was invalid due to alleged corrupt practices. The PDP candidate, who adopted his witness documents as his testimony, told the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led panel that he scored the highest number of votes in the election which was held across 2,629 polling units in the state, saying, “I want the tribunal to declare me as the winner of the election, having scored the majority votes.” He said though he was sure about the number of polling units where Obaseki was declared winner, he did not challenge the outcome of the poll based on all the 2,629 polling units. According to him, most of his depositions at the tribunal were based on documents concerning what he saw on the result sheets and voter registers provided by INEC and pursuant to the order of the tribunal. When cross examined by counsel to Obaseki, Ken Mozia (SAN), Ize-Iyamu told the tribunal that he was in his unit throughout the election just as he said his claims in his petition could not be described as false as he could not remember all the polling units in the 18 local government areas of the state. However, another witness called by the petitioners, one Anthony Lawani, told the tribunal during cross-examination, that there was an alleged incident of over-voting in one of the wards in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area. Lawani, who said that he was a polling agent, claimed that he was in his unit from the beginning to the end of voting.