The Labour Party (LP) has emerged victorious in the suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the victory of its candidate, Senator Neda Imasuen on the outcome of the Edo South Senatorial elections.
Naija News reports the APC candidate, Valentine Asuen had approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Imaseun as the winner of the February 25, 2023 election for the senatorial district.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen came second while Valentine Asuen, came third in the election.
Asuen in his suit before the tribunal which was marked EPT/ED/SEN/01/2023, listed INEC, Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Senator Neda Imasuen as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively.
However, on Tuesday, the Edo State Election Petitions Tribunal struck out the suit for lack of diligent prosecution.
In a unanimous judgement delivered by the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Yusuf Ubale Mohammed, the tribunal held that Hon. Asuen and his party, the APC, completely abandoned their petitions by filing a pre-hearing application on the 2nd respondent out of time.
The tribunal ruled that the action of the petitioners is an implication that they have abandoned their petitions and struck it out.
Looking at the merit of the petition, the 3-man panel ruled that the petition was incompetent and had no iota of merit, adding that the petition ‘has no leg to stand,’; hence, the petition was unanimously dismissed again.
The tribunal had earlier resolved the non-qualification of the 3rd Respondent, Senator Imasuen, against the petitioners, saying that the issue was a pre-election matter that should have been challenged at the Federal High Court.
Justice Mohammed held that the tribunal lacks jurisdiction to entertain a suit concerning who a party candidate is or the mode of primary election of a party that is instituted by a non-member of the said party.
On the issue of dual citizenship of Neda Imasuen as alleged by petitioners, the tribunal ruled that the Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District is a citizen of Nigeria as the petitioners failed to present Imasuen’s alleged USA International Passport and his Oath of Allegiance.
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