The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate during September 19 governorship election in Edo State, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has faulted result of the exercise, which he claimed was marred with violence and voters intimidation, saying he would continue pursuing pre-election suits in courts as provided for in democratic system.
He explained that though he won’t challenge the election results through an election petition, he had resolved to pursue the two pre-election cases filed against PDP and its flagbearer challenging their eligibility to contest the election.
Ize-Iyamu alleged that contrary to free, fair exercise being reported by the media, state officials and supporter of Governor Godwin Obaskeki took to hostile and provocative actions as means to intimidate voters and opposition parties supporters.
Through a statement released to newsmen on Monday by his Campaign Council’s Media Head, John Mayaki, Ize-Iyamu hinted that results were falsified and that there were unlawful cancellations of results in many local government areas of the state.
“Sadly, two persons were killed during the election, while gun-wielding thugs took over collation centres in many locations without the intervention of law-enforcement agents. There were also several cases of malfunctioning card readers, which disenfranchised duly registered voters, in addition to many cases of unregistered voters voting with pre-purchased voters’ cards not collected by their actual owners.
“These malpractices could easily form the basis to challenge the election results. We have however decided not to commence an election petition. This is to avoid further tension in the state. We are also mindful that the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and many well-placed individuals have made pronouncements endorsing the process, which we have chosen to respect.
“Nonetheless, we must emphasize that elections are far more than actual voting, just as democracy includes more than just elections. It is in this light that we draw attention to the fact that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its flagbearers have continued to pursue several pre-election suits in various courts against us, all totalling 13. One such cases came up in the High Court, Benin on 2nd October, 2020, days after the election.
“On our part, we had filed two pre-election cases against the PDP and its flagbearer challenging their eligibility to contest the election. These are all lawful and integral parts of the electoral process in any democracy, which we must all respect and acknowledge as genuine democrats. The outcome of these pending cases has direct effect on the election. Consequently, we have decided to continue with our pre-election cases in full exercise of our legal rights, just as our opponents have considered it their prerogative to also continue with their pre-election cases against us.
“Let me conclude by noting that our cause to uplift our state using the democratic system is a noble mission from which we SHALL NEVER waiver. As law-abiding citizens, we must all continue to believe in the electoral process as an important part of the democratic system, as it remains the best method of choosing who leads the people, devoid of violence and avoidable acrimony,’’ the statement said.