Omoruyi Osaro, a candidate for the Labour Party, was declared the victor in the election for the Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency, which took place in Edo on February 25, 2023. The National/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, which was sitting in Benin, the capital of Edo State, made the decision.
The court rejected the two separate challenges that had been submitted by candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, Okhuarobo Osuede of the PDP and Hon. Crosby Eribo of the All Progressives Congress. These candidates had challenged the qualification of Osaro and the outcome of the election for the National Assembly.
The petitions that were given the numbers EPT/ED/HR/06/2023 and EPT/ED/HR/08/2023 were thrown out of court by the tribunal in a decision that was reached by the three-person panel of the court, which was presided over by Justice O. A. Chijioke. The court found that neither of the petitions had enough merit to be heard.
The election tribunal came to the conclusion that the two petitioners were unable to provide sufficient evidence to support their claims that the LP candidate in question had violated the electoral act, engaged in corrupt practices, or failed to meet the qualifications necessary to run for office.
Justice O.A. Chijioke, who delivered the unanimous verdicts, ruled that the petitioners failed to show their case, and as a result, the petition was rejected for lack of merit.
“We hold that the petitioners failed to prove any of the grounds claimed in the petitions and the petitions are hereby rejected for lack of merits,” the panel ruled in its decision. “We hold that the petitioners failed to prove any of the grounds raised in the petitions.”
The petitioners, Osamuede and Eribo, had sought the tribunal to dispute the election of Osaro on the grounds that he (Osaro) was not entitled to contest the election. The petitions that the petitioners had submitted to the tribunal were independent from one another.
Eribo further claimed that the LP candidate was a citizen of the United States of America, which contradicted the provisions of section 77 of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended, as well as section 66 of the constitution of Nigeria.
Eribo thus claimed that by inference, LP did not have a candidate in the election because he also argued that Osaro was not validly nominated by the Labour Party for the election, which He also contended that Osaro was not validly nominated by the Labour Party for the election.
However, the election panel that was led by Justice Chijioke decided all of the grounds against Okhuarobo and Eribo and asserted that the petitioners basically threw documents on the tribunal without providing any probative value.