By Gabriel Enogholease & Ozioruva Aliu— BENIN
AN Edo State High Court presided over by Justice Courage Ogbebor, on Wednesday, held that the Deputy Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19th 2020 governorship election, Hon Gani Audu was not qualified to contest the election as a result of discrepancies in the names in his documents and what he submitted in INEC’s Form EC9.
The case in Suit No B/358/2020 was brought against Audu by the Plaintiff, Sunday Kadiri, from Ogbona ward, in Etsako West Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State.
The judge also nullified the candidacy of governorship candidate of the APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the party’s deputy governorship candidate, Audu Ganiyu Abudu, in the September 19th, 2020 election.
The plaintiff had asked the court to disqualify Audu from participating in the election on account of having allegedly given false information to the electoral commission to aid his qualification for the election.
He also prayed the court to annul the candidacy of Ize-iyamu as the APC candidate for Governor on account of running with an unqualified candidate for Deputy Governor.
But in a swift reaction, Ize-Iyamu in a statement described the judgment as “unfortunate and utterly wrong”
He said “I have already instructed my counsel to appeal against the judgement, as I am convinced that the Court of Appeal will dispassionately consider the facts presented before the court and arrive at a just decision in accordance with the law.
“I urge all my teeming supporters to remain calm and law abiding. Justice will surely prevail in this matter to the glory of our God”.
It would be recalled that in a similar pre-election matter, an Abuja Federal High Court of coordinate jurisdiction, had in Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/758/2020, filed by Action Democratic Party, ADP, dismissed the matter with cost on the ground that the reliefs sought had been overtaken by events, the election having held and a winner emerged.