The court has always been the last hope of the common man and in any democratic society the judiciary is the arbiter and adjudicates on any dispute between parties. At the end of the last gubernatorial elections in Edo state, the Independent National Electoral commission, INEC, declared, the All Progressive Congress, APC, candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki, winner of the election.
By Dan Owegie
Since his declaration, so many Edo people have congratulated him and his deputy, Philip Shaibu for their victory at polls. Even some gubernatorial candidates who contested the election with him and lost have since conceded victory and gone ahead to congratulate him. That is how it ought to be.
But Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is challenging its defeat at the Edo state Election Petition tribunal. This is also not out of place. Aggrieved candidates under the Electoral Act have the right to seek redress. But they are not to go to the tribunal to beat up the judges and lawyers to get a mandate. If a political party mobilises its supporters to the election petition tribunal where the judges and jury are to hear the submissions following the petition submitted and unleash brigandage on the tribunal then it leaves room for anarchy.
Election is not a do or die affair. You can no longer achieve political leadership in Nigeria or in any party of Africa by brute force.
Edo people were stunned with the level of barbarism displayed at the Edo State Election Petition tribunal by PDP youths who threw caution to the winds and unleashed mayhem on the tribunal attacking supporters of the APC who were left with no option but to defend themselves even as the police was reportedly overwhelmed. At the end of the day, three persons were said to have been hospitalized. Three persons were said to have had their heads broken with bottles when the PDP besieged the tribunal singing war songs.
During the sitting, the tribunal chairman, Justice Ahmed Badamasi after listening to the parties, ruled that the petitioners must file their applications latest 3pm on Saturday 3rd December 2016 while the respondents must file responses latest 7pm Monday 5th December 2016 and adjourned further sitting to December 7.
It was not long when the PDP thugs invaded the tribunal premises and unleashed mayhem on supporters of the APC to the chagrin of all who had come to witness the day