The National/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin, Edo State capital, has affirmed Omoruyi Osaro of the Labour Party as the winner of the February 25, 2023, Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency election in Edo.
The court dismissed the two separate petitions filed by candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, Okhuarobo Osuede of the PDP and Hon. Crosby Eribo of the All Progressives Congress, challenging the qualification of Osaro and the outcome of the National Assembly poll.
In a unanimous judgement by the three-member panel of the tribunal led by Justice O. A. Chijioke, the court dismissed the petitions marked EPT/ED/HR/06/ 2023 and EPT/ED/HR/08/2023 for lack of merits
The tribunal held that the two petitioners could not prove a case of non-compliance with the electoral act, corrupt practices and non-qualification allegations against the LP candidate in the election.
Delivering the unanimous judgements, Justice O.A. Chijioke held that the petitioners failed to prove their case, and thereby dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
“We hold that the petitioners failed to prove any of the grounds raised in the petitions and the petitions are hereby dismissed for lack of merits,” the tribunal ruled
The petitioners, Osamuede and Eribo, through their separate petitions, had approached the tribunal to challenge the election of Osaro on the grounds that he (Osaro) was not qualified to contest the election.
Eribo also accused the LP candidate of being a citizen of the United States of America and thereby negated the provision of section 77 of the Electoral Act, 2022 as amended as well as Section 66 of the constitution of Nigeria.
He also contended that Osaro was not validly nominated by the Labour Party for the election, which Eribo consequently maintained that by inference, LP had no candidate in the election.
However, Justice Chijioke-led election panel resolved all the grounds against Okhuarobo and Eribo and averred that the petitioners merely dumped documents on the tribunal without any probative value.