The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, on Saturday advised Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate to accept the verdict of the state Election Petitions Tribunal.
The Oba declared ‘no victor no vanquished’ in the election, said the monarch’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Desmond Agbama .
In Benin, the Oba’s statement is obeyed like the law. It remains to be seen, how Ize-Iyamu, a son of the ancient kingdom will heed the advice.
A three-man Election Petition tribunal had dismissed Ize-Iyamu’s case and upheld the victory of Gov. Godwin Obaseki.
Ize-Iyamu and his party, the PDP, had challenged the declaration by Independent National Electoral Commission of Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the Sept 28 gubernatorial election.
“In an election, there is no victor and no vanquished”, Oba Ewuare said.
“Consequently, Osagie Ize-Iyamu should accept the decision of the tribunal in good faith and forge ahead in the task of providing democracy dividends for the people,” the Oba said.
He congratulated Obaseki on his victory, and urged him to focus on sanitising the society, providing critical infrastructure and creating job opportunities for the teeming unemployment youths in the state.
Oba Ewuare II also urged all stakeholders to support the administration in the task of moving Edo to higher heights.
Justice Ahmed Badamasi who chaired a three member election tribunal, dismissed the petitions filed by Ize-Iyamu and the PDP as lacking in merit.
Badamasi held that the petitioners failed on all fronts to prove the allegations as pleaded in their petitions.
“The petitioners have failed to prove their case with credible evidence and is therefore dismissed,’’ he said.
The tribunal held that while the petitioners abandoned some of their pleadings, “witnesses evidences were controverted under cross examination’’.
“The much talked about ticking and over voting by the petitioners have not been specifically proven beyond reasonable doubt,” Justice Badamasi said.
Ize-Iyamu said the verdict was unacceptable.
Ize-Iyamu told party leaders and supporters at a forum attended by the state chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, that the judgment would be appealed at a higher court.
“From the snippets I heard, the tribunal’s judgment cannot stand in the higher courts. This case must be pursued up to the Supreme Court, ” he said.