Court Affirms APC Victory In Akoko Edo Constituency


By Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin

The Court of Appeal, Benin Division, on Wednesday upheld the victory of Peter Akpatason, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the March 28 National Assembly polls for Akoko Edo Federal Constituency, as earlier declared by the Edo State Election Petition Tribunal.

The tribunal, headed by Justice A. R. Ozoemena, had on June, 8, 2015, struck out the petition of Bankole Balogun of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, against Akpatason’s victory, for lack of merit.

The tribunal held that though the petitioner signed his column in the petition, his party, the PDP did not sign, which it said was a negation of the Electoral Act.

Bankole Balogun had subsequently appealed the judgment and approached the appellate Court to contest the judgment.

However, the three-man Appeal Court panel, headed by P. Ekpe, in its judgment, agreed with the judgment of the tribunal.

It pointed out that the issue bothers on Section 4.1, Schedule of the Electoral Act, which provides that the petitioners or their counsel must sign petition brought before the tribunal.

The court, while dismissing the argument of the petitioner that the lower court did not give him fair hearing on the issue of the signing of the petition, held that though the first petitioner signed his column, his party did not sign.



    It held that this negated the conditions stipulated by the Electoral Act.

    There was wild jubilation by members of the APC as the court rendered its judgment.

    In his reaction, counsel to Akpatason, Ken Mozia, described the judgment as victory for the rule of law.

    “This judgment is going to be a reference point in all the Election Petition Tribunals. The issue of signing of petitions now is a serious matter, it is no longer business as usual,” he said.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement


    - Advertisement