Edo State governorship Election Petition Tribunal has commenced hearing on petitions against the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 19 election in the state.
Five political parties are challenging the outcome of the governorship election. They are Action Democratic Party (ADP), Action Peoples Party (APP), Action Alliance (AA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
At the tribunal’s inaugural sitting in Benin City, the state capital, on Friday, it granted the petitioners’ ex parte motion for substituted means of service against their respective respondents.
Before granting their orders, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Abdulrazaq Abdulkareem, said the tribunal is committed to completing the five petitions before it within the stipulated time frame.
“We wish to assure you that in our quest to get to the truth of these matters, we shall act in good faith and shall do our work without any form of bias or appearance of any preconception,” he said.
The justice also solicited the co-operation of all parties and counsels, assuring that the tribunal would perform its duties without prejudice to any party.
“We wish to assure you that in our quest to get to the truth of the matters before us; we shall act in good faith, and shall do our work with open mind, without any form of bias or appearance of any preconception. We also pledge not to lend ourselves to any form of external influence,” he added.
Ken Mozia (SAN), who spoke for the counsels, assured the tribunal of their cooperation, promising that they would do their best to file their applications within the specified time frames.
Justice Abdulkareem, thereafter, adjourned sitting to Monday, December 7, for pre-hearing process.