The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin has affirmed the election of Senator Neda Imasuen (LP-Edo) for Edo South seat of the National Assembly.
The candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Matthew Iduoriyekemwen and his party, had through petition no EPT/ED/SEN/03/2023 approached the tribunal to challenge Imasuen’s victory in the February 25 election.
The petitioners had approached the tribunal seeking the nullification of Imasuen’s victory on four grounds.
The grounds specifically included 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 1st respondent by the LP.
The three-member panel led by Justice Yusuf Mohammed, however, dismissed the petition for lacking in merit and being incompetent.
Justice Mohammed, who read the over three hours judgement, said the petitioners failed to prove beyond 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 were pre-election matters that could 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.
The Judge held that the petitioners were unable to prove the case of alleged non-compliance with the Electoral Act and irregularities during the election.
Reacting, Imasuen dedicated the victory to the people of Edo and lauded the tribunal for its courageous interpretation of the law and standing for justice.
The tribunal had earlier struck out the petition filed by Valentine Asuen of the APC in Edo South.