Barristers & Solicitors
Tribunal Upholds LP Senator’s Election for Edo South
Tribunal Upholds LP Senator’s Election for Edo South

The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Benin-city, Edo State, yesterday affirmed the election of Senator Neda Imasuen as the senator representing Edo South senatorial district on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, and his party had through suit no: EPT/ED/SEN/03/2023 approached the tribunal to challenge Imasuen’s victory in the February 25 election.

The petitioners approached the tribunal on five grounds and sought the nullification of Imasuen’s  victory for alleged non qualification, over-voting, corrupt practice, non-compliance with the Electoral Act by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the nomination of the first respondent by the LP

However, the three-member panel led by Justice Yusuf Ubale Mohammed dismissed the petition for lack of merit, and incompetent.

Justice Mohammed, who read the over three hours judgement, said the petitioners failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Imasuen was not qualified to participate in the election.

The tribunal held that the allegations of non-qualification, party nomination or sponsorship for an election are pre-election matters that can only be entertained by a Federal High Court.

He added that Iduoriyekemwen and his party also failed to prove that the senator did not score the majority of valid votes in the election.

Justice Mohammed further held that the petitioners were unable to prove the case of non-compliance with the Electoral Act and irregularities mentioned during the election.

Earlier, the tribunal through a motion on notice filed before it by the respondents had dismissed the petition on the ground that it was not properly signed, inferring that the petitions were brought in dead before the court.

Reacting to the court verdict, Senator Imasuen, while dedicating the court victory to the people of Edo South, commended the tribunal for its courage to interpret the law as it should be and for also standing for the truth and justice.

He said: “I am grateful to God and the people of my constituency for standing by me through this difficult period. I will never take their efforts for granted and I will reciprocate it by serving them well. It is unfortunate that my opponent had to go to court but the tribunal’s verdict has validated my victory at the polls.

“I must commend the tribunal for holding to justice and ensuring that our victory at the poll is upheld.”