Tony Osauzo, Benin
The All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Representatives candidate for Ikpoba-Okha/Egor Federal Constituency of Edo State in the just concluded National Assembly election, Hon Ehiozuwa Agbonyinma, has filed a 142-page petition before the State Election Petitions Tribunal, challenging the outcome of the February 23 election.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jude Ise-Idehen, was declared winner of the election, but Agbonyinma, in his petition, urged the tribunal to declare him winner of the election.
Speaking to newsmen on Friday night in Benin City shortly after filing his petition, Hon Agbonyinma said he wants to reclaim his mandate “that was stolen by some dubious characters in INEC in collaboration with some PDP leaders and security men and women.”
He insisted that he won the election but that some INEC officials collaborated with some PDP leaders to perpetuate fraud by manipulating the electoral process.
“I have always said the APC won the Presidential election for Mr. President and I won the election for Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Constituency which I contested for.
“I had valid ground to file this petition. Nobody can steal the mandate of the people that came out to vote for me and go free. Miracle happened during my time for someone to call me thinking he is talking to PDP Chairman to redeem the balance after he has done everything fraudulently to derail the wheel of progress. I am happy that those who perpetrated this fraud have been arrested. They have confessed and the law will take its course.
“I won the election and we are reclaiming our mandate back. We will go through the the legal process to get our mandate. I am the winner and my mandate will be given back to me,” Agbonyinma who is the incumbent lawmaker for Egor/Ikpoba-Okha said.
Similarly, the incumbent lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency and candidate of the PDP in the election, Hon. Omosede Igbinedion, has filed a petition before the Tribunal asking it to declare her winner of the February 23 National Assembly Election.
Her opponent of the All Progressives Congress, Hon Dennis Idahosa, was declared winner of the election, but Omosede said she won majority of lawful votes in the election.
She said she has several grounds to challenge the outcome of the election because she performed creditably well, adding that the results were not a true reflection of the people of Ovia Constituency as there was no reason for her to lose the election.
“There are several grounds which we intend to challenge the election. First thing is the candidate of the APC. There are so many things we know that tell us he was not worthy to contest the election.
“We want to contest the results which was not a reflection of Ovia Constituency. The people of Ovia came out to vote for the PDP. Where the discrepancies came from in Ovia South West were unfounded. I have several projects and there was not reason for us to to lose the election.
“This mandate will be recovered. I was deeply saddened when I saw elected National Assembly collecting their Certificate of Return and the person was sitting in the back seat. That is not supposed to be the position of Ovia Constituency.
“We are going to prove that he is not worthy to be at the House of Representatives. I am asking the tribunal to declare me the winner,” she said.