Tribunal Dismisses Airhiavbere’s Petition Challenging Oshiomhole’s Educational Qualifications

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The Edo State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin City today dismissed the petition filed by Major General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (Rtd), challenging the educational qualifications of Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, describing it as a wild  goose chase.

In his ruling, the Tribunal Chairman, Suleiman Ambursa said the petition is a pre-election matter that ought to be dispensed long before the July 14, 2012 governorship election. According to him, after examining the affidavits, counter affidavits and submissions of the counsels for the respondents and petitioner, the tribunal has no jurisdiction on what took place in 2007.

The tribunal chairman averred that in line with constitutional provisions, candidates are expected to submit copies of their documents to the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, before the election and that the same constitution mandates the electoral body to publish the said documents in order that any other candidate that is not satisfied with the information contained in the said documents can approach the Federal High Court for appropriate interpretation.

“Any person who has any reasonable ground to contest the educational qualification of the first respondent, should seek a declaration in the high court,” the tribunal noted.

For failing to follow constitutional provisions, the tribunal described the action of the petitioner as a wild goose chase. It therefore struck out the petition on the grounds  that it is a pre-election matter that ought to have been sorted out before the July 14 governorship election.

Meanwhile, the tribunal will deliver ruling tomorrow on the motion by the petitioner that the governorship election was marred by irregularities and therefore seeking the Independent National Electoral Commission to release the voters’ register to them.


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