The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Benin has confirmed the election of Sen. Neda Imasuen of the Labour Party to the National Assembly seat of Edo South.
Mr Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and his party had petitioned the tribunal with petition no EPT/ED/SEN/03/2023 to contest Imasuen’s victory in the Feb. 25 election.
The petitioners had approached the tribunal seeking the annulment of Imasuen’s victory on four grounds: alleged non-qualification, over-voting, corrupt practice, non-compliance with the Electoral Act by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the LP’s nomination of the first respondent.
However, a three-member panel chaired by Justice Yusuf Mohammed dismissed the plea for lack of merit and incompetence.
According to Justice Mohammed, who read the three-hour-long decision, the petitioners failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Imasuen was not qualified to vote in the election.
The tribunal ruled that complaints of non-qualification, party nomination, or election sponsorship were pre-election concerns that could only be heard by the Federal High Court.
He further stated that Iduoriyekemwen and his party failed to demonstrate that the senator received a majority of legal votes in the election.
The Judge ruled that the petitioners had failed to show their case of claimed Electoral Act violations and electoral irregularities.
In a statement, Imasuen dedicated the win to the people of Edo and praised the tribunal for its brave interpretation of the law and commitment to justice.
Previously, the tribunal dismissed a petition submitted by Valentine Asuen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo South.