APC ‘relocates’ To Edo As PDP Asks Court To Disqualify Obaseki

Key stalwarts of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday temporarily relocated to Benin, Edo State, ahead of Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.
Thousands of supporters of the APC yesterday thronged the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin for the gubernatorial grand finale rally of the party, which was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari’s presidential aircraft landed at the Benin Airport at about 10.20 a.m. and was received by Governor Adams Oshiomhole and other stalwarts from Edo and neighboring states.
He was accompanied by the APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, among others.
Buhari said he endorsed the candidature of Godwin Obaseki, whom he described as a technocrat that would continue from where Governor Oshiomhole would stop.

But the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has dragged Obaseki to court seeking his disqualification from the contest.
Leaders of the party, led by the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi, arrived Benin yesterday ahead of the election.

Also in the state are governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State; chairman of the PDPs Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin and the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd) and many others.
Wike, who spoke at a meeting of PDP leaders, said the party’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, will win the election if conducted based on the rule of law.
He, however, cautioned that “the battle will not be an easy one.”

Similarly, the PDP had alleged that APCs Obaseki had provided false information on oath to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and therefore not qualified to be in the contest.

The state chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih, who stated this at a press briefing in Benin, yesterday decried that voters would be at risk if they “waste their votes for the APC because the party has no candidate for the election.”

According to him, “We have asked the Federal High Court in Benin for a declaration that Mr. Obaseki’s statement that he graduated from the University of Ibadan with a B.A in Classical Studies in 1976 was false.

“In addition, the party is asking for a declaration disqualifying Obaseki from contesting the Edo state governorship election scheduled for September 10, 2016 on grounds that he submitted false information on oath to the INEC on Form CF001 (and) therefore lied under other,” he said.

“In all, Obaseki has failed to fulfil the requirements of the Constitution which in Section 182 (I) h) specifies the qualifications a person must have to contest the governorship of a state,” he said.
Joined in the suit No. FHC/B/CO/120/16 dated September 1 and filed by Joseph Aghimien, on behalf of the PDP and its legal adviser, Edoba Omoregie, were Obaseki and INEC.

However, the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Godwin Erhahon, said the action by the PDP was move “by a desperate and helpless party seeking to truncate the expected victory of the APC candidate.”
According to him, “They have a right to go to court, but they are not the ones to give the verdict.”

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