The Federal High Court on Tuesday dismissed the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party seeking the disqualification of Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the September 19, 2020 election in Edo State.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed dismissed the suit on the grounds that it “has become an academic exercise”.
The judge noted that since the APC lost the election, there would be “no benefit” for the PDP to gain in the success of the suit.
Justice Mohammed added that APC and Ize-Iyamu were not challenging the outcome of the election at the Election Petition Tribunal which is the forum with the exclusive jurisdiction to determine who is validly elected in the election.
“This suit has become academic and it is hereby struck out,” the judge ruled.
The PDP had on July 3, 2020 sued Ize-Iyamu and two others claiming that the primary election of the APC that produced him as the party’s governorship candidate in the governorship election was not validly conducted.
The other two defendants were the Independent National Electoral Commission and the APC.
But Ize-Iyamu and the APC in their opposition to the suit urged the court to dismiss it for being a mere academic exercise, as the said election had been conducted and both Ize-Iyamu and his party, the APC lost.
They also argued that they did not challenge the outcome of the September 19 governorship election which was won by the PDP and Mr Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shuaibu, as the governor and deputy governor, respectively.
Meanwhile, the judge also in another suit challenging Governor Obaseki’s nomination as the PDP’s candidate admitted as Exhibit PL2, the Form EC9 which was completed and submitted to INEC ahead of September 19, 2020, by the governor.
The APC and one Edobor Williams had filed the suit seeking an order disqualifying Obaseki as a candidate in the governorship election on the grounds that he forged his first-degree certificate which he submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification for the governorship poll.
Justice Mohammed overruled the objection by the PDP and Obaseki and admitted the document on the grounds that it was relevant to the case.
The judge gave the governor and other defendants the opportunity to cross-examine the INEC official subpoenaed to produce the document.
According to the judge, without the form EC9, “the whole case would collapse like a pack of cards”.
He adjourned the case till Wednesday for the plaintiffs to close their case.