By Lucky Isibor
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 28 October, 2016 Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki on his victory at the Supreme Court over the governorship tussle, assuring him of his goodwill.
The PDP and its candidate, Ize-Iyamu had challenged the victory of Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the September 2016 poll over electoral irregularity.
However, the Three-Member Edo Election Petition Tribunal in April dismissed the petition as filed by the PDP and its candidate for lack of merit.
Dissatisfied with the tribunal verdict , Pastor Ize-Iyamu and his party, the PDP headed for the Court of Appeal.
Similarly, in June, the Appeal Court sitting in Benin City again upheld Obaseki’s victory at the poll which followed the PDP candidate declaration to immediately proceed to the apex court.
The seven-man panel at the Supreme Court on Monday, 10 July, 2017, the justices, in an unanimous decision, dismissed the case for lack of merit. The apex court said it will give its reasons for the judgment on July 24, 2017.
While congratulating Governor Obaseki on his victory at the Supreme Court, Ize-Iyamu in a statement titled ” A congratulatory message”, said he accepts the apex court Judgement in good faith and thanked his supporters, PDP faithful and Edo people who stood by him during his quest to govern the state.
“Today, the Supreme Court has by its judgment brought to an end our struggle for the office of the governor of Edo State which began on 28 September, 2016.
“I accept in good faith this decision of the highest court of our country, which affirms Mr. Godwin Obaseki as the Governor of Edo State. I therefore congratulate Mr. Godwin Obaseki and assure him of my goodwill.
“I also want to use this opportunity to thank all our supporters and party men and women for their immense support for our struggle right from the time of the election to this day that it ended at the Supreme Court. Let me assure them of my acknowledgment of their various sacrifices and promise that I will always be there for them.
“I thank all Edo people who have been part of our struggle all the way. In our various ways we should keep the fire burning in the quest for an Edo State of our dreams”, the statement said.
In a related development, the Chairman of Edo state chapter of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), on Monday, 10 July, commended the Apex Court on its judgment over the Edo Governorship election tussle.
The State Chairman, Mr Roy Oribhabo, spoke with news men in Benin City, while reacting on the Supreme Court judgement of the September 2016 Governorship legal battle.
Oribhabo who commended the judiciary for the well researched and articulated judgment, said, indeed, judiciary has once again demonstrated that they are the last hope of the commoners in Nigeria.
While congratulating Governor Obaseki for the victory, Oribhabo urged him to extend a hand of fellowship to Ize-Iyamu adding that he should not be seen as an enemy.
According to Oribhabor, “This judgment has further vindicate us (CNPP) and the good people of Edo state who freely voted enmass for Governor Godwin Obaseki in the last election but some people believed otherwise.
“As major stakeholder in Edo State politics we noted as follows immediately after election of 28th Sept. 2016 via World press conference.
“That INEC conducted one of the best election in Nigeria and commended the leadership for job well done.
“Edo CNPP call on Gov. Obaseki to continue his good works to reposition our dear state and not to see pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as enemy but a partner in progress for the betterment of EDO state. We advise the petitioner to support this administration for the interest of all.”
Also reacting, Mr Benjoe Itute , APC Treasurer in Esan Central local government area described the Supreme Court verdict as victory for democracy, to the party and the people of Edo State. He however called on the petitioner, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party on the need to join hands with the governor to move the state forward. “My advice for them is to cooperate with the governor; the governor needs their cooperation to move the state forward”, he said.