A Federal High Court in Benin City, Edo State, has sacked the All Progressives Congress candidate in Orhionmwon East Constituency, Mr. Osamwonyi Atu. The court ordered the APC to conduct fresh primary to pick its candidate.
The presiding judge who ordered the rerun ro hold in 15 days, said the result presented by Osamwonyi Atu was forged.
The judge submitted that document speaks for itself. “The document before me is dated on the 26th day of May 2022. However the defendants claim that the primary was conducted on 27th. I hold that the result paraded by Mr. Osamwonyi Atu was forged.”
The judge thereafter declared the purported election held on 27th May, 2022 is there invalid.
“The 1st and 2nd Defendants are hereby ordered to conduct another primary within 15 days.” The court ruled.
It will be recalled that Atu’s opponent, Mr. Lucky Igbinedion, had acclaimed himself as winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries into the Orhionmwon East Constituency of the state house of assembly and called for the arrest of the former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Edo, Johnson Sinikiem over alleged forgery.
Igbinedion in a petition addressed to the state Commissioner of Police, accused the REC of corrupt acts of conspiracy, forging of the report and attaching a fake result and writing the name of one Osamwonyi Atu as the winner of the primary election he never participated in.
The petitioner said Atu was allotted votes in the report that REC sent to Abuja as against the happening during the May 26 primaries in Abudu, the headquarters of Orhionmwon LGA.
He appealed to the police boss to arrest, and investigate Sinikiem for trying to rig the election in favour of Atu in breach of Sections 463, 464 and 465 of the Criminal Code.
He said 28 delegates participated in the poll, in which he garnered 16 votes, Stephen Idehen, four votes, Lucky Ijeh, zero while Atu was absent.
The petitioner claimed that he was declared winner of the election in the presence of all security agents, INEC monitors and other stakeholders.
He said that, at the time the primary election was held at the All Progressive Congress Secretariat at Abudu, Mr. Osamwonyi Atu was absent.
“In the presence of everyone, the sub Committee even telephoned Osamwonyi Atu to enquire about his whereabouts before the primary election commenced, Osamwonyi Atu only replied that he was around, but he never came until the exercise ended.”