The Edo State Election Petition Tribunal in Benin City dismissed the petition filed by Major General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (Rtd) in which he challenged the educational qualifications of Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, describing it as a wide goose chase.
In his ruling, the Tribunal Chairman, Suleiman Ambursa said the petition is a pre-election matter that ought to have been dispensed with long before the July 14, 2012 governorship election.
After examining the affidavits, counter affidavits and submissions of the counsels for the respondents and petitioner, the chairman said, the tribunal concluded it had no jurisdiction over what took place in 2007.
Mr. Ambursa averred that in line with the provisions of the constitution, candidates are expected to submit copies of their documents to the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) before the election and that the same constitution mandates the electoral body to publish the said documents in order that any other candidate that is not satisfied with the information therein contained might approach the Federal High Court for appropriate interpretation.
“Any person who has any reasonable ground to contest the educational qualification of the first respondent, should seek a declaration in the high court,” he said.
Describing the action as a “wild goose chase” for failing to follow the constitutional provisions, the tribunal struck out the petition.
The tribunal will deliver its ruling today on the motion by the petitioner that the governorship election itself was marred by irregularities. The petitioner seeks to have INEC release the voters’ register to him.