Election Petition: Oshiomhole Challenges Tribunal’s Jurisdiction

The case filed by the defeated candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the election of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as governor of Edo State, suffered a setback on Wednesday in Benin City as the lawyers to the Edo State Governor, challenged the competency and jurisdiction of the tribunal to try the case.

In his submission at the crowded sitting held at the state high court, the lead counsel to Governor Oshiomhole, Chief Wole Olanipekun, (SAN) prayed the tribunal to strike out and dismiss the petition for lack of competence and jurisdiction, arguing that only the Federal High Court has the jurisdiction to hear the case, citing several authorities to back his submission.

Olanipekun, who submitted that the submission is uncontested because the petition is fatally defective, said that the petitioner relied solely on the Electoral Law, rather than the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The counsel to Oshiomhole further said that the court cannot adjudicate on an issue that is not an election matter, saying that the issue of forgery of result which is being pursued by the petitioner is not a civil case, but a criminal case which can only be pursued at the Federal High Court…

He therefore asked the court to dismiss the matter in its entirely as it is fatally defective.

The counsels to the Action Congress of Nigeria ACN), Ricky Tafa (SAN) allied himself with the argument of the Counsel to the Governor.

Gen Charles Airhiavbere, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate who was absent at the tribunal was represented by Efe Akpofure (SAN).

The Tribunal is headed by Hon. Justice Suleiman Ambursa.

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