By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
An Edo State High Court sitting in Benin, has nullified the candidacy of the Deputy Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the State, Mr. Gani Audu.
The court presided over by Justice Courage Ogbebor, by extension, also nullified the candidacy of the party’s governorship candidate for the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Audu is a former member of the State House of Assembly.
The Plaintiff, Sunday Kadiri, from Ogbona ward, in Etsako West Local Government Area of the State, had asked the court to disqualify Audu from participating in the election on account of having given false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to aid his qualification for the election.
Kadiri further prayed the court to annul the candidacy of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as the governorship candidate of the party, on account of running with an unqualified candidate for Deputy Governor.
In his judgment, Justice Ogbebor, held that the defendant presented false information to INEC in his Form EC9 to enable him contest the said election.
He, therefore, nullified the ticket of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Gani Audu, as the party’s governorship and Deputy governorship candidates respectively, in the September 19, 2020 election.
Meanwhile, Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the APC in the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, has vowed to appeal the judgement.
Ize-Iyamu disclosed this in a statement he personally signed on Wednesday, and made available to journalists in Benin.
He described the judgement as unfortunate and utterly wrong.
“I have received the news of the judgement delivered today 6th day of January, 2021 by the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City, disqualifying me and my running mate, Hon Gani Audu from contesting the gubernatorial election held in Edo State on 19th September, 2020.
“This judgement to say the least is unfortunate and utterly wrong.
“I have already instructed my counsel to appeal against the judgement, as I am convinced that the Court of Appeal will dispassionately consider the facts presented before the court and arrive at a just decision in accordance with the law,” Ize-Iyamu said.
The APC governorship candidate urged all his teeming supporters to remain calm and law abiding, noting that “justice will surely prevail in this matter to the glory of our God”.