Adjoto, Ijegbai drags Akpatason, Ihonvbere before Edo Election Petitions Tribunal


Following the completion of the Presidential, National, governorship and State House of Assembly election, the attention will be shifted from the political field to the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin, the Edo State capital.

Politicians and their legal teams have already commenced the fireworks to retained or reclaimed electoral mandates.

Amongst those who have already filed petition before the Tribunal are Hon Kabiru Adjoto and Hon Jimoh Ijegbai who are seeking adjudication on the declaration made by the INEC on the February 25 National Assembly elections.

The duo who contested on the platform of the people’s Democratic party PDP based their petition on the two grounds of overvoting and failure to obtain the highest number of votes cast at the election

They urged the Tribunal to discountenance the declaration purportedly made by the INEC, stating that it was false and also did not reflect the true picture of what transpired on Election Day.

In addition, they requested the Tribunal to declare them as winners.

Hon Ihonvere of the All Progressive Congress APC hailed from the Owan West LGA of Owan federal constituency and going by INEC declaration, he scored a total of 26, 539 to defeat jimoh Ijegbai of the PDP from Owan East who got 20, 584 votes.

In Akoko Edo federal constituency, Hon Adjoto a former third-term member of the Edo state House of Assembly and a special Adviser to the state government before contesting the House of Representatives election on the PDP platform.

On the other hand, Hon Akpatason of the APC went into that election seeking a fourth-term bid in the green chamber. He won the election with 14,937 votes to beat Adjoto who scored 9,314 votes.

Hon. Adjoto’s petition is anchored on the fact that Akpatanson who was declared winner by INEC did not garner the highest number of votes cast as stated in the amended version of the 2022 electoral law.

Hon Ijegbai, a former Owan East LGA government chairman and also the former Deputy Chief of Staff to the Edo State deputy governor, asked the Tribunal to annul the victory of Prof Ihonbvere and to declare him as the rightful winner based on overvoting which he said the INEC failed to take notice of during the collation process.

The Tribunal is expected to resume sitting next month. There is a deluge of petitions before the Tribunal which are expected to be disposed off in ninety days going by the provisions of 2022 amended electoral law.

Also, the lawyers for both the petitioners and the defendants will literarily attempt to set the Tribunal on fire as they engage in fierce legal fireworks.

Also, the Tribunal floor may likely turn into a chaotic scene as the lawyers trade legal jargon, introduce some technicalities and also make persuasive submissions to sway the Tribunal judges.

While the whole scenario plays out, the three-man panel of eminent jurists will listen with rapt attention to the unfolding legal fireworks and possibly draw their conclusions based on the electoral law and the Constitution

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