When last week, I came out with a treatise; “Edo PDP’s Wild Goose Chase,” I merely stated the obvious being a steady follower of the proceedings at the Edo State Election petition tribunal and many Edo people were optimistic that the tribunal would deliver judgment in favour of Governor Godwin Obaseki and the All Progressives Congress because all planks of the Edo PDP and its gubernatorial candidate’s arguments rested squarely on very obtuse arguments inconsistent with the Electoral Act.
In spite of my accurate analysis of what was to come, one nincompoop, which goes by the name Osaze Jesurobo, who even though spent three months as Managing Director of a respected State owned newspaper but has never written an article all his life, had the temerity and brazen impudence to insinuate online that my widely read article was “what looked like an article”. He progressed, like a demented dog to display my photograph with my beloved wives on his facebook page as though my wives were the issues with his contrived mind. But whether he liked my article or not, the reality of the matter has hit him and the Edo PDP family like a thunder bold.
As a Zikist and one of those who cut his teeth in journalism and writing from the Great Zik of Africa in the West African Pilot decades ago, I know that Osazee Jusurobo at that time would at best, be carrying his slate with his protruded kwashiorkor tummy drooling saliva from his angular stomatitis infected lips to Akara school. If he felt uncomfortable with my article, he ought to have written a masterpiece rejoinder in a national newspaper so that I can then learn from him, instead of forcing me to now engage his ignorance and warped view in a more challenging manner.
But I am sure that when the Edo Election Petition Tribunal, last Friday upheld the election of Mr. Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his Deputy as the duly elected Governor and Deputy Governor of Edo State respectively, the likes of Osaze Jesurobo would have been dazed with the Pontification of Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led three member tribunal, which dismissed their petition filed by for lacking in merit.
The tribunal judgment wasn’t much of a surprise to majority of Edo people who immediately went into wild jubilation over the that reaffirmation of the popular mandate which they willingly gave Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Phillip Shaibu. The tribunal chairman, Badamasi held that the petitioners failed in ALL fronts to prove the allegations as pleaded in their petitions and consequently threw out their petitions.
Interestingly too, the tribunal held that while the petitioners abandoned some of their pleadings, “witnesses evidences were controverted under cross examination’’. In the same vein, the tribunal noted that “the much talked about ticking and over voting by the petitioners have not be specifically proved beyond reasonable doubts. “And not calling witnesses to prove their allegations of corrupt practices and over voting was fatal to their case and is deemed to have abandoned their pleadings,’’
It does seem that Mr. Osaze Jesurobo, the Edo PDP and its leadership as well as their gubernatorial candidate were mistaking the Edo State Election petition Tribunal Chairman, Ahmed Badamasi as Santa Claus. That is quite fatal for the party. If that was their expectations, they must have been hallucinating all the while.
Now, instead of facing the reality that has hit them very hard, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2016 Edo governorship poll, said that the judgment of the Election Petitions Tribunal which dismissed their petition was unacceptable. They said they were going to appeal the judgement. So sure that they will also lose again at the appeal, they said they will go up to the Supreme Court challenging Obaseki’s victory.
In the midst of the APC frenzy post tribunal judgment, loquacious Chairman of Edo PDP, Mr. Dan Orbih said: “We reject the judgment of the tribunal; it is not acceptable to us and we have told our lawyers to appeal the judgment as the issues raised in the petition were not addressed by the tribunal,” fine and good. That is the beauty of democracy.
Perhaps, the evidence that the Edo PDP were unable to produce at the Court of first instance, would now be produced and then accepted at the appellate Court! It is obvious that the money delivered from Allison Madueke and Dasuki with bullion van to Edo PDP while the party held sway at the federal is inexhaustible. The Bullion Van is still talking!
With the judgment of the tribunal, I stand vindicated and I also know that the Edo PDP’s journey to the appeal and supreme courts remains a wild goose chase. Nothing would come out of such a fatal journey except the clear fact that the victory of Godwin Obaseki and Phillip Shaibu would be affirmed and doubly affirmed by the higher courts over and again. The PDP lawyers are clear Njukas, (beginners) where eminent lawyers such as Ken Mozia (SAN) are. I will encourage the PDP lawyers to go and take some tutorials from Ken Mozia and learn how to approach the court with evidence and not to base their hopes on deliberate falsehoods and unsubstantiated claims as was the case at the Edo State Election Petition tribunal.
Edo people are free to go and sleep with their two eyes closed and be rest assured that Governor Godwin Obaseki would provide adequate security for them. They should be rest assured that the massive infrastructural development currently going on silently in Edo would continue unhindered on higher and bigger scale. They should be equally assured that Governor Obaseki will continue to create the right environment for job creation for the army of unemployed youths in the state. Edo people should be rest assured that the APC Government would continue to guarantee their overall development and satisfaction. But in reciprocation, citizens should play their roles through prompt payment of taxes, rents and rates. They should obey traffic rules and refrain from criminal activities. That way, the State would be the best in the country under Governor Godwin Obaseki.
• Mr. Dan Owegie is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State.