Oshiomhole is Edo governor

2 Comments » November 11th, 2008 posted by // Categories: Nigeriawatch


Nov, 11, 2008

Oshiomhole is Edo governor

  • Thanks God, Nigerians
  • Osunbor accepts Appeal Court ruling
  • AC, Buhari, others laud verdict
  • Jubilation all over
    From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, (Benin City), Alifa Daniel (Kano) Clifford Ndujihe, Dele Fanimo (Lagos), Collins Olayinka, John-Abba Ogbodo, Mohammed Abubakar, Nkechi Onyedika (Abuja) and Abiodun Fanoro

    THE ancient city of Benin erupted in jubilation yesterday as former labour leader, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, was affirmed the duly elected governor of Edo State 19 months after the April 14, 2007 gubernatorial elections. He contested the April 14, 2007 governorship election on the ticket of the Action Congress (AC).

    Oshiomhole was The Guardian’s Man of The Year 2006.

    Early reactions nationwide lauded the ruling.

    Oshiomhole, who attributed his victory to God and dedicated it to Nigerians, will 7.00 a.m. today be sworn in, according to secretary of his campaign organisation, Mr. Omorodion Ogie. He takes over from Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, the former governor, who was said to have monitored events at the Appeal Court from his home town, Iruekpen but would hand over the reins of power to Oshiomhole.

    In yesterday’s judgment which was read for about three hours 40 minutes, the five-man appeal panel headed by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi, unanimously upheld the decision of the election petition tribunal which had ruled on March 20 that the AC and Oshiomhole won the polls in which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced victory for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor.

    The entire city was turned into a festive mood following the judgment. Oshiomhole and his running mate, Mr. Pius Odubu, were at the Appeal Court while Osunbor was conspicuously absent.

    Shortly after the judgment was delivered, thousands of residents thronged the city centre holding brooms, the AC emblem and chanting solidarity songs in support of AC and Oshiomhole. Security operatives joined in jubilating with the people. Thousands of the supporters trekked over four kilometres from the court venue at Aduwawa Road on the Benin-Auchi Way to Ring Road, the commercial nerve centre of the city, holding brooms.

    Oshiomhole himself rode in a motorcade that stretched almost from Ikpoba Hill through Akpakpava Road to the party’s headquarters at Airport Road in central Benin City. He was on the convoy for over two hours.

    The celebration was, however, almost marred as a supporter was reported to have died from an accident along 2nd Junction and some other persons injured in the incident.

    The appeal upheld that the chart A-O, an exhibit formulated at the lower tribunal which separated all valid votes from invalid votes to arrive at the final scores by all parties in the contest was valid.

    It also held that there were evidence of multiple voting during the elections in the areas which election was contested by Oshiomhole.

    Besides, it said the tribunal was right when it cancelled the entire results of two local government councils based on the evidence of Prosecution Witness 47; the Edo state INEC head of operations, Kayode Olawale. He had in a press conference shortly after the elections cancelled the results of two local governments, Akoko-Edo and Etsako Central local governments due to alarming election irregularities, but INEC still included the results from these councils in the final results declared, a development the tribunal used to cancel elections from the two local government councils. The copies and video-tapes of the press conference where he announced the cancellation were presented at the lower tribunal as exhibits.

    The panel held that the final results got after the deductions of valid and invalid votes that led to the declaration of Oshiomhole as the winner of the election was right.

    The tribunal, after deducting all the valid votes from the invalid votes in 12 local government councils in Edo Central and Edo North excluding the two local government councils which election was cancelled and added to the four local governments in Edo South where AC and Oshiomhole were declared winners by INEC and which was not contested by the PDP, PDP scored a total vote of 129,017 while AC scored 166,577.

    Abdulahi, therefore, ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return earlier issued to Osunbor and a fresh one issued to Oshiomhole.

    Oshiomhole will today at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium be sworn in.

    As soon as the judgment was concluded at about 12.55 p.m. yesterday, the security men in the courtroom suddenly formed a guard around Oshiomhole as the new governor.

    Signs that the verdict may not go the way of the PDP showed earlier in the morning when it was noticed that the highest ranking officer of the party in the court was the PDP South-South youth leader, Ralph Edoghogho, with the factional chairman of the party in the state, Edward Sadoh.

    Oshiomhole arrived at the court at 8.45 a.m. and shortly after, he was greeted by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Hilary Okpara, a development that showed the first signal that Oshiomhole may have won the day.

    Oshiomhole was accompanied by his deputy, Pius Odubu, state chairman of the party, Tony Omoaghe, South-South leader of the party, former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi and Edo North leaders of the party, Maliki Afegbua and Alhaji Shagadi.

    Also in the court were the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Abdulwaheed Omar, who arrived at the court premises at 9.50 a.m. and one of his vice presidents, Isa Aremu.

    The atmosphere in Benin was charged as security operatives had taken over the town 24 hours earlier.

    But it was a calm atmosphere around the court premises as unaccredited persons, including journalists, were turned back about one kilometre to the court premises. The state government had declared yesterday a work-free day apparently to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

    People were advised to stay in their homes and watch live telecast of proceedings via their television.

    Oshiomhole shortly after the victory said he would form an all-inclusive government and would make use of the best brains in the state.

    Oshiomhole becomes the third governor in the current dispensation to secure his mandate through the judicial process.

    The others are Peter Obi of Anambra State and Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State.

    Oshiomhole’s victory yesterday marks a watershed in the litany of governorship electoral litigation after the 2007 polls.

    It was the first case in which an opposition party outwitted the ruling party among cases that had been decided. Many petitions are pending.

    In Adamawa, Bayelsa, Cross River, Kogi and Sokoto states, the PDP governorship candidates lost at the appellate court and only regained their mandate by winning re-run elections.

    In Bayelsa State, Governor Timipre Sylva won the electoral petition at the tribunal but lost at the Appeal Court, which upheld the appeal of Ebitimi Amgbare of the AC and ordered a re-run. Sylva won the repeat polls.

    A similar scenario played out in Sokoto State where Governor Aliyu Magatarkada Wamakko of the PDP had to win a re-run election after Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP’s) petition was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

    States with pending cases at the Appeal Court include Oyo, Ondo, Kwara and Imo.

    Below are excerpts of Oshiomhole’s chat with reporters

    What is your reaction to this victory?

    We give thanks to God, we thank Justice Abdulahi and his colleagues for the courageous decision, for the effort they have made, to revalidate the mandate that was given to us and I dedicate this to all the people of Nigeria because of their support, prayers, efforts and otherwise have made today (yesterday) possible.

    I don’ have words to express the depth of my gratitude but today I want to say that in all, this country is worth dying for, today I have benefited from a courageous judiciary and I have the duty to ensure that the good people of Edo state who have stood by us over the past two years, who have suffered all kinds of deprivation that now that we have opportunity, we will repay them through good governance and ensure that in all that we shall do, only the people and people alone shall matter in our administration. I want to thank you the media for all the support you have given I know how much you put in to ensure that our side was heard in the face of all the manipulation by our opponents and as you can see, they say tough times don’t last but tough people do. Today, the truth have prevailed and I am happy that I have been able to fulfil one of the very first promise we made to Edo people that we will defend their votes, today the votes have counted, for the first time in the life of Edo people, they can beat their chest to say this government was the result of our ballot paper, I will give thanks to god for that.

    We thank justice Abdulahi and his team, we thank justice Orilonise who heard at the case at the election tribunal and we thank all the Nigerian people who have been praying for us and to them we dedicate this victory and the struggle for a better Nigeria .

    How do hope to cope with house of assembly where the PDP has the majority?

    Everybody that has allowed the people to vote for him has really done that on the basis that he is going to work for the good of the people, this state is greater than the PDP, it is greater than the AC, it is greater than the ANNP it is greater than all the political parties and I think our commitment to serve overrides partisan commitment so I do not have any fear that those young men and women who are in the house recognises that it is time to work for Edo people and we will provide the leadership for that.

    Do you hope to form an all inclusive government?

    Like I said the state is greater than all the political parties put together, therefore the challenge of grabbing the changes that we envisage dictates that we must go beyond our party platform to source for human capital with which we will drive the changes that we have in mind so political affiliation will not be the main consideration, Edo people want us to work and we will get the best that is available.

    Osunbor congratulated the new governor, saying that he did his best in the 18 months that he was in charge.

    He said: “I received the judgment with mixed feelings, although many must have been disappointed by the judgment, we should see it a victory for the rule of law. As a believer in the rule of law and a lawyer, I accept the verdict in good faith, more so since there is no further right of appeal.

    “During my 18 months as governor, I left no one in doubt that my main purpose for seeking to serve was to deliver Edo State from the shackles of underdevelopment and infrastructural decay. My actions and developmental stride bear eloquent testimonies to this. While congratulating Comrade Oshiomhole on his victory, I urge him to do his utmost to promote the interest of the people and the development of our state.”

    Osunbor also thanked organised labour, students, “the people of Edo State, the Oba of Benin for his fatherly advice and support, PDP, and God Almighty. I believe everything happens for good to those who trust in the Lord.”

    The Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Nosa Adams, said the party accepted the verdict in good spirit but said it would bounce back to reclaim power. He, however, said the Osunbor was a liability to the party.

    “We take the verdict in good faith and we will struggle to reposition our great party to face the challenges ahead and we are sure we will recapture the state in future elections. Every party member should remain calm, we are intact, and we will again take over the control of the state. Everybody should continue to co-operate with the party”, he said.

    The Benin National Congress, a social cultural group, also hailed the ruling of the panel.

    In a statement by the association’s secretary general, Mr. Omowemwen Imadiyi, the group “praised the judiciary for the land mark judgment and has proved to Nigerians that they are the last hope of the common man.” The group also praised President Yar’Adua for his strict adherence to the rule of law even at the midst of pressure on him by politicians to succumb to their selfish and parochial interests which he resisted.

    “This epoch-making event in the history of Nigeria will serve as a deterrent to our politicians to desist from the act of rigging elections and make credible Nigerians to rise to the occasion in elections for the service of the people and they will be sure that INEC will be fare to all concerned”, the statement said.

    The National Secretariat of the AC hailed the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City for doing the right thing by upholding Osunbor’s nullification of the election and confirming Oshiomhole’s declaration as the duly elected governor of the state.

    In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said that the Court of Appeal ruling confirmed the widely-held belief that the judgment of the lower court, delivered in March, was sound and beyond reproach.

    It said there was no doubt that the judgment will go a long way in shoring up the image of the judiciary, which seems to have taken a battering in recent times over some curious and inexplicable judgments on the 2007 general elections.

    The AC thanked the people of Edo State for persevering and for staying calm, despite their palpable frustration over the unusually long period it took for them to finally get justice.

    The party assured them of great days ahead, as Governor Oshiomhole begins the hardwork aimed at ensuring that the good people of Edo State enjoy the much-awaited dividends of democracy and the lost glory of the state is restored.

    “Now, the people of Edo will begin to have a taste of what Lagos residents have been enjoying under the AC administration: Good governance!” it said.

    The AC thanked all its supporters nationwide for their continued belief in the party and its leadership, urging them to continue to keep the faith and remain calm until the party achieves victory in its presidential election petition at the Supreme Court.

    He added: “We are committed to the enthronement of genuine democracy in Nigeria for the benefit of our long-suffering people, no matter how long it takes to achieve. We have absolute confidence and faith in the people to join us in bringing about the much-desired change for the better in our dear nation. We know we can, and we will!”

    A statement containing the reaction signed by its President, Abdulwaheed Omar and General Secretary, John Odah yesterday in Abuja, lauded the judiciary for the landmark victory and restated its call for the institution of free and fair election in the Nigerian electoral system to insulate the country from unnecessary legal tussles.

    The statement read in part: “The NLC also thanks the judiciary for its steadfastness in the face of obvious challenges. The Congress is however convinced that there is the need to institutionalise a free and fair electoral system that will save the country and its constituent states the embarrassment of waiting for 18 months before a popularly elected governor is sworn into office. We use this opportunity to reiterate our call that all electoral petitions should be decided before a person is sworn into elective political office. The Labour Movement also hopes that the Electoral Reform Report and its implementation will ensure that such basic electoral issues are addressed.”

    To the central labour body, Nigeria should not only be eager to join the enviable bracket of the 20 largest economies by the year 2020, but in the same token should equally strive to be among the first 20 best democracies in the world by the same year.

    It added: “The NLC hopes that the struggle and peoples victory in Edo State would be replicated in the next four years so that in reality Nigeria can be counted by the year 2020 amongst the world’s twenty best democracies. The electoral judgment in Edo State is a victory for democracy in our country.”

    Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, former Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Timiebi Koripamo-Agary who had to contend with many strikes called by Oshiomhole when he was President of NLC, described the victory as a replica of the Obama phenomenon.

    She stated that though the period Oshiomhole was turbulent, as that was when fuel prices were freely adjusted by the out-gone President Olusegun Obasanjo administration, Dr. Agary described Oshiomhole as a “very brilliant person that cannot be pushed over by anybody.”

    The PDP’s national secretariat yesterday philosophically accepted the ruling but attributed the loss of the case to the crisis rocking its Edo chapter.

    The PDP’s national chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, made several attempts to reconcile the state chapter which has been torn between the governor and former chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Chief Tony Anenih.

    Reacting to the ruling yesterday, Ogbulafor, told reporters at the national secretariat in Abuja that it was unfortunate that several efforts made by the leadership to resolve the crisis in the state chapter could not yield the desired results and that affected the matter in the court.

    “It is unfortunate we lost Edo state. We tried to reconcile the misunderstanding in Edo PDP state chapter, a house divided can never stand and it is unfortunate we lost Edo”, he said.

    “The PDP as a party believes in the rule of law, we must comply with the ruling. If we lose one out of 27 it is not bad, the court has spoken and the judges have spoken”.

    It may have happened in far away Edo State, but nearly 1000 kilometres away in the ancient commercial city of Kano.

    As Vice President Goodluck Jonathan was rounding up his speech at the retreat of Senators, legislative aides, hotel workers, journalists, security operatives huddled around a television set downstairs in the lobby of the Tahir Guest Palace Hotel. As soon as Oshiomole was declared winner, there were shouts of joy as some presidential and other bodyguards rushed in to see what was amiss in the lobby.

    As soon as they and other curious persons were told, smiles broke out on faces; there was backslapping; and angry legislative aides pushing for the payment of their duty tour allowance momentarily celebrated.

    A few minutes later, the Vice President was being ushered down from the conference room for a group photograph with the lawmakers. The news filtered to the senators, and a curious drama broke out as Jonathan, David Mark took position for the photo session.

    Two Edo Senators on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and known political acolytes of former PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, slipped past trying to hide their smiles of joy.

    Infact, one of them kept saying thank you to the words of congratulation thrown in his direction as he walked away.

    But when the three Lagos AC Senators, Olorunimbe Mamora, Ganiyu Solomon and Munir Muse emerged, the celebration took a new turn as the group photo session closed.

    The three men were surrounded by their colleagues who congratulated and hugged them.

    Senators in the opposition, like former Governor of Yobe State, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, raised the hands of his AC colleagues and profusely joined in the celebration.

    As the joyful event went on, the Vice President was led to his car by Mark and other principal officers and he drove off waving to the Senate President and others.

    Said Senator Solomon: “I am very very happy about it, its victory for democracy, particularly coming on the heels of the victory by Barack Obama in the US. It rekindles our hope and there is a lot of hope in the air now, the hope that all is not lost for the average Nigerian. I’ ve said that there is a lot of hope in the air, we still have some cases in the court and we are hopeful of increasing our lot. For future elections too, we have a lot of hope and I believe Nigerians are going imbibe this for the purpose of future elections.

    Senator Mamora was full of suffuse praises for the judiciary, saying that it was a great day and victory for perseverance in the democratic race.

    He added: “We thank God. I am very happy; I am elated. It is victory for democracy and it also shows that no matter how long it takes truth will prevail. The people of Edo State know who they voted for. The will of the people was subverted, but through the courts, that will and mandate given to Adams Oshiomole has been restored.

    “I commend the judiciary for coming strong to assert its role. Both the winners and the losers, I hope, will close ranks in the interest of the people of Edo State so that the dividends of democracy can be delivered to the people of the State.”

    Senator Munir Muse, who was beaming with smiles as he went about the parking lot of the hotel told journalists: “What can we say today, it’s a big congratulation to the new gov and my party the AC. Its good for democracy. We are learning lessons in this country and we have seen seen that some members of even the PDP have also come out to say that this is the result of imposition of candidates.”

    Senator Smart Adeyemi said: “What happened in Edo is a good development. I want to put aside the sentiment that I am in the PDP. To me as a PDP Senator I see this as a situation where truth is prevailing. These are the manifestations of the evils that were done by the last executive of PDP, when you fix candidates on the basis of sentiments and you impose candidates on the people. I hope the new executive of the PDP led by Prince Vincent Ogbulafor and Alhaji Kawu Baraje will learn from this.

    “In a democratic dispensation, you allow the people to decide. I want to see a situation where somebody who was born and bred in Lagos an Iboman will become the governor one day.

    Former Head of State and presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Major General Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Oshimhole.

    In a statement issued by his campaign organization in Abuja, Buhari described the Appeal Court verdict as a major victory for the Nigerian masses, who have yearned for democracy and whose unwavering support for Oshomhole saw the Action Congress (AC) candidate through this stage.

    Buhari believed that the ruling of the Appeal Court is significant in the sense that it will help to restore the hope and confidence of the Nigerian people in the judiciary, appealing to that Justices handling other election-related cases in the country to borrow a leaf from their counterparts in Benin whose pronouncements have rekindled the hope of the Nigerian masses in the maxim of one man one vote.

    “We rejoice with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, for his fortitude and the people of Nigeria over this land mark verdict of the Appeal Court in Benin. It is a verdict that will go a long way in restoring the hope of our people in the judiciary and their faith once again, in the sanctity of the ballot box as well as in the maxim of one man one vote,” Buhari said .

    He added: “It is my sincere wish that our Hon Justices should appreciate that the only way to consolidate democracy in Nigeria is through an independent judiciary, hence I appeal to those handling other election- pending cases in the country to borrow a leaf from the courageous stand of the Appeal Court Justices in Benin, who have restored the stolen mandate, to its rightful owner. Only such courageous verdict, delivered without fear or favour, can sustain and deepen our democracy.

    The Trade Union Congress (TUC) President, Mr. Peter Esele, has sent congratulatory Oshiomhole.

    Esele who is in South Africa attending an international conference, told The Guardian on telephone that Oshiomhole’s victory has further reinforced the credibility of the Judiciary as the people’s last hope.

    According to the TUC helmsman, the judgement was an indication that good would always triumph over evil no matter how long it takes.

    He said the victory has shown that democracy has come to stay in Nigeria adding that those who feel cheated through electoral fraud should not despair as God would soon vindicate them.

    Activist lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, welcomed the verdict.

    “I am proud of the courageous judgment,” Fawehinmi said in a statement from London where he is on medical treatment.

    “Truth and electoral wishes of the people have finally triumphed.

    “The victory is a challenge to Adams Oshiomhole to give maximum joy and happiness to his people.

    “A lesson must be taught by the judgment. Professor Oserheimen Osunbor and those who helped him to perpetrate the electoral fraud must be arraigned before a criminal court to be tried for the offences they have committed.”

    He added: “I am happy that a tested, committed and principled progressive will have the opportunity to govern a state like Edo, which had in the past been plagued to stupor by irresponsible and corrupt leadership.”

    PAN-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, National Chairman of African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu described Oshiomhole’s victory as a turning point in the history of democratic struggle in Nigeria.

    In separate reactions to the court ruling, they were united in their view that the judgement is a symbolic wind of change that is bound to blow across the length and breadth of the country, reviving democracy.

    In an interview with The Guardian, Afenifere National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin observed said: “Is a victory for democracy and the rule of law, the true will of the people of Edo State has been asserted, Afenifere congratulate the people of Edo State and Nigerians in general for their steadfastness.”

    Nwosu’s view, the ruling has helped to restore the sanctity of the ballot box and the supremacy of votes cast by the electorate.

    He noted that the greatest message of the ruling to leaders who had always believed that their whims and caprices must determined the wishes and aspiration of the people is to accept that time is up, and has come to that, warning that any of them who wanted to stand against this wind of change was bound to be blown away by it.

    “The people have spoken, the court has affirmed it, the time up imposition and selection is over, the power and right of the people to elect their representatives have been affirmed, nobody can stop this, nobody must stand on its way, this is the wind of change, we have long expected, it is either anti-democratic elements give up and become part of this change or they are consumed by the change,” Nwosu asserted.


    It’s Oshiomhole!

    From Adibe Emenyonu in Benin, 11.12.2008

    Professor Oserheimen Osunbor has become the first governor to be unseated through an election petition since the controversial 2007 general election.

    Unlike Chief Andy Uba (Anambra) and Chief Celestine Omehia (Rivers) who lost their positions at the Supreme Court owing to constitutional issues, Osunbor yesterday lost his appeal against the petition filed by Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole (Action Congress), his opponent in the April 14, 2007 governorship election in Edo State.

    It was wild jubilation in Benin City, the Edo State capital, as the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the lower tribunal which had earlier declared Oshiomhole as the winner of the election.

    The historic judgment of the court ended the one and a half-year-old government of Prof. Osunbor.

    After the judgment was delivered, thousands of people who defied the restriction movement order placed by the government stormed the streets of Benin celebration as soon as the court made its pronouncement in the judgment broadcast live by the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), African Independent Television (AIT) and other television stations.

    While delivering the unanimous judgment, President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi, dismissed all the grounds of appeal filed by Osunbor, describing them as “lacking in merit”.

    Upholding the decision of the lower tribunal which declared Oshiomhole as the elected Governor of Edo State, having scored the highest lawful votes in the election, the Appeal Court held that the AC governorship candidate satisfied the electoral requirements to be so declared, having scored at least 25 per cent of the votes in two-thirds of the local government.

    “Oshiomhole is hereby declared Governor of Edo State,” Justice Abdullahi said, and ordered the withdrawal of the Certificate of Return issued to Osunbor, just as he also ordered the “immediate” swearing-in of Oshiomhole.

    The court, while reviewing the decision of the lower tribunal, disagreed with the appellant’s submission that the tribunal was wrong in annulling their votes in some local governments during the recount of some votes during the hearing of Oshiomhole’s petition.
    It held that the lower tribunal did not annul votes, but merely cancelled voided votes, and that the tribunal was right to have relied on the documentary evidence provided by INEC to arrive at its decision in determining the winner of the election.

    “The most reliable evidence is documentary evidence, the tribunal was right to have relied on documents provided by INEC,” Abdullahi said.

    The Appeal Court also upheld the decision of the lower tribunal in all the points canvassed, and held that the allegations of multiple registration and voting were proved beyond reasonable doubts by the respondents (Oshiomhole and AC).

    “Multiple registrations and voting were not only proved, but proved beyond reasonable doubt. The tribunal was therefore right to hold same,” the court held.

    Just after the court affirmed the decision of the lower tribunal, tears rolled down Oshiomhole’s cheeks.

    Earlier, the court had dismissed all the five grounds of interlocutory appeal filed by Osunbor, the PDP and INEC, challenging the ruling of the lower tribunal in an earlier preliminary objection raised by them.

    Soon after the judgment was delivered, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), lead counsel to Oshiomhole, applauded the efforts of the judges and said: “This is not a case of winner or loser”.

    On his part, AC’s lead counsel, Mr. Ricky Tarfa (SAN), said: “The industry demonstrated by the judges will go a long way to strengthen democracy in Nigeria.”

    Also reacting, Osunbor’s lead lawyer, Chief Lateef fagbemi (SAN), commended the Judges for straining themselves in hearing and deciding the case in record time. “We thank you. You don’t win all the time. We have lost today,” he said

    The PDP lead counsel, Chief Ighdalo Imadegbelo, urged Nigerians to respect the rule of law, adding: “We respect the judgment”.

    Reacting to the comments of the counsel, Justice Abdullahi described the case as of the best he has handled and commended them (counsel) for their industry, saying: “I think this one is one of the best cases I have taken.”

    He urged lawyers to continue to be industrious as judges rely on them to develop the law.

    Immediately after the Court of Appeal pronounced Oshiomhole as winner, he described his victory as “victory for democracy, for the judiciary and for the rule of law”.

    Meanwhile, Osunbor conceded victory, saying he received the judgment with mixed feelings. He described it as victory for the rule of law.

    “As a believer in the rule of law and as a lawyer, we accept the verdict in good faith.

    “In my few months in office, we did our best in office and left no one in doubt that my purpose in office was to deliver Edo State from the shackles of underdevelopment.

    “My action and development strides are eloquent testimonies to make the difference in the minds of the people.”

    While congratulating Oshio-mhole for his victory, he urged him to do his utmost to promote the interest of the people and the people.
    Also, Oshiomole, who is expected to be sworn in today by 10am at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, promised to repay the people of Edo State with good governance.

    While speaking with newsmen at the Court of Appeal, he said: “The people will come first in all our calculations. Today, the truth has prevailed. For the first time, we prayed to God, he has used me. Edo State people are greater than any political party.”
    When asked how he would cope with a House of Assembly dominated by PDP, Oshiomhole replied that he would run an all-inclusive government.

    Also in his reaction to the judgment, the Otaru of Auchi, Hybrid Momoh, Ikelebe III, said; “We thank Almighty Allah for his kindness and mercy. The judgment of the court is divine. The court has done its duty as the arbiter of the common man by doing justice to this case. We will continue to response confidence on the judiciary.”


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2 Responses to “Oshiomhole is Edo governor”

  1. MR OPINION. says:

    Oshomole won the election from the day so the truth is very hard to be covered up despite of any individual or collectie mischievious attempt by group of non progressives put together. furthermore ,it is in my opinion that other nigerians who are hellbent to do away with the truth shall in like manner be put to an endless shame after the verdict,

  2. mohammedmuazu says:

    Oshomole really won and God delied him winner from the woed go, if not so he wouldn’t have been given the sit. Because even the president who is clamouring for the rule of law does not come to the sit legaly but power made him to be, and if you will believe with me he is paying for it indirectly thru sick bed and so on.Therefore, following the right thing on every aspect pay better to ones live,but skiping pays negtively. Oshoms take your sit and do your best leave the rest to God almighty you will never go astray.

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