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Edo tribunal members allege death threats

Posted by By TONY OSAUZO, Benin on 2008/04/15 | Views: 527 |

Edo tribunal members allege death threats


Chairman of the first Edo State election petition tribunal, Justice Peter Umeadi, yesterday raised alarm over death threat letters to members of the tribunal.

Chairman of the first Edo State election petition tribunal, Justice Peter Umeadi, yesterday raised alarm over death threat letters to members of the tribunal.

In his opening remarks before the tribunal commenced giving judgments in one national and four state House of Assembly cases yesterday, Justice Umeadi, said the tribunal had received letters of threat from one of the counsel in the cases.

“We thought Mr. Iredia Osifo would be here himself. This is not the first time that we have got this type of letter from Mr. Osifo.
“On November 21, 2007, we got a death threat in a letter warning us not to rule against Mr. Osifo’s client and that if we do, they gave us a proverb that the love a man has for his fowl does not stop him from killing it on the day of festivity and that if we do, we will suffer the same fate.

“They said we should beware that there is something called the ‘Benin Mafia’ with a very long arm and that they will get at us wherever we are. After this session, we will through the assistant secretary to the tribunal direct the counsel in that matter to proceed to the secretary to get a copy of that letter so that if the ‘Benin Mafia’ strikes, there will be something left for somebody to work with.”

A visibly angry Justice Umeadi said Barrister Osifo, one of the counsel handling cases for the PDP, had sworn to affidavit, alleging leakages of the judgments to be given yesterday, even as he stressed that the tribunal was not aware of the contents of the affidavit.

“They said they suspected leakages of the rulings to be given today. I will address one point and that is to show you the inconsistency of that sworn affidavit,” Justice Umeadi said.
Meanwhile, the tribunal yesterday nullified the election of Hon. Ehiogie West Idahosa of the PDP, representing Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

In a unanimous judgment, the tribunal cancelled the election of Ovia South-West on ground of electoral malpractices, manipulation and non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2006 and other relevant laws.
While holding that the votes from Ovia North East were not enough to declare a winner in the election, the tribunal, therefore, ordered a re-run of the election.

In another judgmen, the tribunal upturned the election of Hon. Blessing Agbebaku of the PDP, representing Owan West in the state House of Assembly and in his place, declared Mr. Felix Unuigbe of the AC winner.

The tribunal, after deducting the illegal votes, held that the AC candidate scored 2,950 votes as against 2,053 of the PDP candidate.
The tribunal also yesterday upheld the election of Dr. Israel Mandy Aguele of the PDP representing Esan South East in the state House of Assembly.
It dismissed the petition of the AC candidate; Miss Mercy Igbede (deceased) for lack of merit.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.