The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, its candidate in the Sept. 28, 2016 governorship election, on Friday closed their case before the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led three-member election petition tribunal in Benin.
The petitioners are challenging the declaration by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) of Mr Godwin Obaseki as winner of the election. The petitioners had named the INEC, Obaseki and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as first, second and third respondents respectively in the petition.
INEC had declared Obaseki of APC winner of the Edo governorship election after he polled 319,483 votes to defeat Ize-Iyamu, his closest rival, who scored a total of over 250,000 votes.
The petitioners, who alleged that the election was fraught with electoral irregularities in some units and wards in the 18 local government areas of the state, are asking the tribunal to declare Ize-Iyamu as winner.
They had 14 days to prove their cases and stated in their pleadings that they would call more than 1,000 witnesses. The petitioners also requested for the recounting in court of used ballot papers in the election. They were, however, able to call only 91 witnesses before the expiration of the allotted time.
Mr Ahmed Salman, INEC managerial officer, on subpoena, on Tuesday, had delivered a few sacks in court containing utilized ticket papers for Egor, Akoko-Edo, Etsako-East and Estako-West, individually.
Including of the papers all the four neighborhood government territories was still on when Mr Ken Mozia (SAN), guide for Obaseki, at 1 pm, drew the consideration of the tribunal to the way that 14 days designated for the applicants to demonstrate their case had lapsed.
Taking after the perception, Mr Yusuf Ali (SAN), direction to the solicitors, asked the tribunal to take into consideration the continuation of checking since the procedure started inside the 14-day time span.
Be that as it may, the respondents’ insight questioned the demand.
The tribunal, after contentions from the solicitors and respondents’ insight, ruled against the application for continuation of checking, since it had gone past the endorsed 14-day time frame.
Ali from that point orally connected to the tribunal that the aftereffect of the numbering inside time ought to be made known to the tribunal, which the respondents additionally questioned.
In any case, the tribunal administrator maintained Ali’s supplication and decided that the tribunal’s enlistment center ought to outfit it with the result of the relying at the latest Monday.
Badamasi likewise decided that duplicates of the data ought to be served on both the solicitors and respondents, and dismissed till Tuesday for INEC to open its barrier.