Two new parties sue Obaseki, INEC over exclusion, demand fresh Edo governorship election

Two new parties on Friday submitted petitions to the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal demanding the cancellation of the polls and withdrawing the declaration of Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party, as the winner of the September 19 poll.
All parties opposed to the conduct of the elections are expected to submit their petition before Saturday, October 10 to the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
The two political parties, Action Peoples Party and Action Alliance, which filed their petitions, dated October 5, 2020, contested the outcome of the election on grounds of “unlawful exclusion.”
The filing of the petitions by the two political parties brings to three the number of petitions before the tribunal with the Action Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Lucky Iboi, having filed one petition earlier in the week.
The APP, in the petition wherein Obaseki, the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission are respondents, claimed that it was unlawfully excluded just as the AA candidate, Ukonga Frank Onaivi, in his petition against Obaseki, PDP and INEC, alleged that he was also unduly exempted, in spite of being the validly nominated candidate of the party, in line with the Electoral Act.
Both petitioners are praying the tribunal to nullify the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, where INEC gave victory to Obaseki, and asked that a fresh election be ordered within 90 days, while the validly nominated candidate ((Onaivi of AA) and APP should be included in the new ballot papers.
The secretary of the tribunal, Sunday Martins, had said today (October 10) would be the last day for submission of petitions by political parties and their candidates, while respondents have 21 days from the dates of filing the petitions to respond to the petitions/allegations levelled against them, after which the inaugural sitting will be held.
The first runner-up in the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, of the APC, it would be recalled, had said that he would not be contesting the outcome of the election at the tribunal, adding that he would, however, pursue the two pre-election matters he instituted against Obaseki.

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