By Adelanwa Bamgboye & Vincent Egunyanga, Benin Saturday, 12 January 2013 05:02
…allows Oshiomhole’s appeal
… PDP expels Airhiavbere
The Supreme Court yesterday overruled the Court of Appeal, Benin over the 14 July, 2012 Edo State governorship election, saying the Appeal Court erred to have made a case for Major General Charles Airhiavbere’s petition, even as the PDP governorship candidate was expelled by his party.
In a unanimous decision, seven justices of the apex court chaired by Justice Mahmud Mohammed held that the petitioner made it clear that he has a sole ground in his petition which did not raise the issue of non qualification.
Delivering the lead judgment, Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour, said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Major General Charles Airhiavbere (retired) did not specifically plead the issue of non qualification in his petition.
The Supreme Court has also set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal Benin which ordered that a fresh tribunal be constituted to determine whether Edo State Governor, Comrade Oshiomhole possessed the qualifications for election as governor.
The Edo State governorship election tribunal has refused to consider the allegation that Oshiomhole did not possess the qualification to contest for governor and went further to strike out some paragraphs in the petition referring to non qualification.
However, the Appeal Court restored the paragraphs and ordered fresh trial before the tribunal.
On the allegation of election malpractices, the Supreme Court, however, ordered the parties to go back to the tribunal and determine the allegation of irregularities. The petitioner has challenged results in five out of 18 local governments.
Meanwhile, at an emergency meeting of the ward in Benin yesterday, ward leader Osas Osaretin revealed that General Airhiavbere was expelled for anti party activities.
Airhiavbere however said he will respond at a later time.